Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fifth-graders selected for hands-on program

School board officials scuttles plan for another bond vote in November

August 17, 2006

A few students in the Basehor-Linwood district will get a more hands-on approach to math and science this year.

Superintendent Robert Albers announced during Monday's school board meeting that that fifth-graders at Glenwood Ridge Elementary were selected to participate in the Kansas STARBASE program.

The program, which began in 1989 by the National Guard, aims to help students' comprehension in math and science, set personal goals and learn from positive role models.

From Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, the two fifth grade classes -- about 50 students -- along with parent volunteers will travel to Kansas City, Kan., to spend the school day learning about math and science in a different way, while still using state curriculum standards. Albers reviewed some activities the children will participate in during the five days.

"Introduction to robotics, laws in motion, jet engines, forces of flight -- it just looks like a very good program," he said.

Jan Hancock principal at Glenwood Ridge said the program is usually reserved for Title 1 schools, which are schools in which 40 percent of the students receive free or reduced-price lunch. After looking into the program, contacting STARBASE and applying for the program, Hancock said, Glenwood Ridge was considered because there was open space.

"We wouldn't normally have been chosen, so this really is a neat opportunity for our students," she said.

Fifth-grade teachers Valerie Toomey and Laura Justice went to a half-day STARBASE orientation Aug. 9 to decide if they wanted their classes to participate. They spent the day doing several of the experiments the students would be participating in, such as building and programming a robot.

They said what sold them on the program was the curriculum and the way it was taught.

"It just goes hand-in-hand with the curriculum we would be teaching in the classroom," Toomey said.

"It's hands-on for kids that don't do as well with book work," Justice said.

Jason Johnston, site coordinator with STARBASE, will visit Glenwood Ridge at 1 p.m. next Tuesday to pump the students up for their adventure, go over guidelines and sign participation agreements.

"Our students and our teachers are very excited about going," Hancock said.

In other action Monday night, the school board:

  • Approved, 6-0, the budget hearing for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28.
  • Approved, 6-0, a resolution on the Northeast Kansas Technical College agreement, which recognizes the technical college as an alternative education program for all USD 458 students.
  • Approved, 6-0, a resolution on the Boy Scouts Equal Access Agreement, which allows Boy Scouts to conduct meetings in school buildings.
  • Approved, 6-0, a resolution on bank account authorization, which allows Robert Albers, superintendent; Don Swartz, executive director of business and facilities; or Pam Chenoweth, senior bookkeeper, to amend the authorized signers for any of the district or building bank accounts as necessary.
  • Approved, 6-0, purchase of a used minivan from Enterprise Car Sales for $14,697. The van will be used to transport students to and from activities.
  • Approved, 6-0, a Rural Water District No. 1 easement near Basehor Elementary School.
  • Approved, 6-0, to allow the Basehor-Linwood High School band booster club to pour a concrete slab on the south end of the BLHS football field bleachers. The purpose would be to make room for the band to move back into the bleachers during games instead of standing in the north end zone.
  • Approved, 6-0, to rescind a previous motion made to present a November 2006 bond issue to the public. Board members agreed they were not ready to present a bond issue and will meet later this fall to discuss the matter.
  • Met in executive session to discuss the board-superintendent agreement and non-elected personnel matters.

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