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Chatfield ready for new school year

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in Chatfield Education

The Chatfield School Board met for the last meeting before the start of a new school year on August 20, 2012. A wide variety of information was passed on from school administrators to the board about the academic year that will begin in September.

Both principals agreed that standardized test scores had marginal improvement and the school will continue to implement learning programs to keep scores elevated. Elementary Principal Craig Ihrke noted the student handbooks that will be available to students and their parents. This year’s handbook will be segmented into user-friendly sections. The handbooks will be posted electronically and hard copies are preferred to be limited to those who do not have internet access at home. Ihrke also shared comments by Alyssa Johnsrud, an instructor who is on special assignment for the district. Johnsrud is a coordinator for the school’s Action 100 plan. There will be a parent workshop on September 25 for parents to learn more about their children’s involvement in the Action 100 program. At least one parent from each family is encouraged to attend this event.

Food Service Director Gwen McCaulley was at the meeting to brief the board on federally mandated changes to the public school lunch program. McCaulley explained that mandated changes include a minimum/maximum calorie count, the protein and bread servings per week are now less, sodium and saturated fat limits have been decreased, a required, wider variety of colorful vegetables, ½ of grains served must be whole grains, and milk must be low fat or fat free. The concept behind these changes is to educate students on eating more healthily.

The Superintendent was the last administrator to speak to the board. He reported that there was a preliminary enrollment number that resulted in a net gain in a variety amount of grades. He also finished a review of bus safety policies and procedures. Finally, the district is looking further into bully programming to utilize within the schools. Harris also told the board that staff members would be returning next week for in-service days before the new academic year begins.

In consent items, the board approved positions for five elementary paraprofessionals and some high school positions. Rachel Erz will be a physical education and Kindergarten instructor. Hannah Iacarella will be the new Spanish instructor. Finally, Barbara Ahl is the new choir director for Chatfield High School.

Before adjourning, the board made a few announcements. For the general election on November 6, three seats for Chatfield School Board members will be up for vote. Three names will appear on the ballot: Jerry Chase, Greg LaPlante, and F. Mike Tuohy. The Chatfield District’s Truth in Taxation Hearing will take place on December 17 at 7:00 p.m. The next board meeting will be on September 17, 2012.

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