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Students look forward to Pearson science curriculum

By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, May 23rd, 2014
Posted in All Education

The Houston School Board held a meeting on May 20. At the meeting Gwen Rostad presented the FY2015 Proposed Budget to the board and answered board questions. The proposed budget must be reviewed and approved by the school board by June 30, 2014.

Marsha Benson also took time to explain to the board that the school’s dental rates will be going up for the FY2015 dental insurance plan. Rates have not increased in the past 12 years that the school has been self-insured through Simple Dental. Scott Dee of La Crosse Insurance gave Houston Schools his recommendation in letter form. “My recommendation for Houston Public Schools is to continue to self-fund the dental plan through Simple but increase the

monthly premium amounts by 5 percent and add the Premier Dental Network in a passive position,” wrote Dee. The school board will need to make a decision by the end of June.

Krin Abraham also presented the new proposed science curriculum to the board. After a long process of deciding which curriculum would suit the Houston School District best, Pearson Publishers was chosen. Abraham raved about the benefits of the Pearson curriculum that is primarily online, which allows resources to be easily updated. Abraham also told the board that both the teachers and students preferred the Pearson curriculum and found it much easier to use than other programs. “The kids loved it. The kids got excited about science using that curriculum.” Abraham also believed that using Pearson’s online curriculum would improve test scores since the students will be learning the same way they will be tested. Abraham suggested that the district make an inclusive purchase for seven years, which will save the district money.The total cost of the science purchase would be $41,084.32, which would cover everything from lab equipment and training to curriculum. There is an additional request for the purchase of 85 new computers which would cost $39,000. The total cost to implement the new science curriculum would be $80,084.32. The school board will vote on the proposal at a future meeting.

After all presentations were made the school board looked to old business that required action. The board approved Houston High School’s request to produce a musical for the 2014-2015 school year. The board also approved the Junior/Senior trip to Washington D.C. set for November 29-December 5, 2014. Hiring a Robotics coach and a team budget of $1,000 was also approved. Lastly, the board approved the architect fees for work to be done on upgrades to the boys’ and girls’ shower areas at the high school and other accessible upgrades. These upgrades need to be done in order to be compliant with the MDE Civil Rights Review Voluntary Compliance Plan.

The next school board meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 3 at the Houston High School Library..

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