Archive for Thursday, September 11, 2008

School district makes extra effort to improve scores

September 11, 2008

The Basehor-Linwood School District will be spending a little bit of money in an effort to improve students' ACT scores.

Sandy Guidry, director of curriculum and instruction, told school board members Monday that a few programs will go into effect in the near future to help students and teachers identify problem areas early and study for the college entrance exam.

"There are a couple of efforts we want to make to raise the ACT scores," Guidry said.

The EXPLORE program is the first test in a series of three that students usually take in eighth or ninth grade. This is followed up by the PLAN test in 10th grade and finally the ACT during the junior or senior year. All programs test students in English, math, reading and science, but EXPLORE and PLAN, which are not currently offered in the Basehor-Linwood district, are like preparation for the ACT.

"Both EXPLORE and PLAN give a predictor on what ACT scores will be," Guidry said. "They also provide career guidance and it tells teachers and students where weaknesses are."

Students can use the scores from EXPLORE and PLAN to focus on tough subjects, plan for high school and college classes and explore career options.

The cost to administer EXPLORE and PLAN is estimated at $12,000.

Another strategy is to purchase a school license for the ACT Online Prep program. Students will then have the option to go to the computer lab during seminar or other designated times to use the program and practice for the ACT.

"This will give every student access to ACT Online Prep," Guidry said.

Teachers in the core subjects will also be able to use the program to administer tests in just their area of study, which will give teachers insight on what areas students need to work on in their own individual classrooms.

The license for ACT Online Prep is expected to be $1,030.

Students will also continue to take the ACT prep course offered outside of school hours on an optional basis to receive specific ACT instruction for a longer period of time, but those students who do not have that option will soon have resources available to them at school.

"We think those two things will be very helpful," Guidry said.

Action Items:

¢ Approved, 6-0, the Basehor-Linwood High School FBLA National Leadership Conference trip to Washington, D.C. in mid-November.

¢ Approved, 6-0, BOE Policy Chapters A-G for first reading.

¢ Approved, 6-0, to call a special meeting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, to issue $15 million in general obligation bonds.

¢ Approved, 6-0, the contract between BLVS and AllofE.

¢ Approved, 6-0, the bid from McPherson Contractors to construct Basehor Elementary School 3-5 at a total cost of $8,970,500.

¢ Approved, 6-0, contracts for Rhonda Ormsby, Glenwood Ridge Elementary School teacher aide and Kenneth McFarland, custodian.

¢ Approved, 6-0, the resignations of Nancy Isabell, custodian, Sheila Callaghan, BLHS receptionist and Mary Nutter, assistant girls softball coach.

¢ Met in executive session for 15 minutes to discuss confidential data relating to financial affairs.

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