Archive for Wednesday, February 16, 2000

High School program to offer real-world experience to teens

February 16, 2000

A new program beginning in 2001 at Tonganoxie High School will let students learn what it's like to be professionals on the job.

Mike Webb, vocational coordinator, told school board members Monday night about the executive high school internship program.

This program doesn't mean that students can do an internship in just any field, Webb said.

Or as Mike Bogart, high school principal, said, "We're looking at professions that will require a post-secondary degree."

Some of the areas in which students could be working might include accounting, banking, computer science, law, medicine, journalism, mortuary science or criminal justice, Webb said.

To participate in the program, seniors must have a grade-point average of at least 3.5, must have taken prerequisite courses in the field of the career, have good attendance, few tardies, reliable transportation and two recommendations from faculty.

In other matters, principals presented proposed curriculum changes for the 2000-2001 school year.

Elementary principal Jerry Daskoski said his faculty is looking for a different mathematics text.

He presented a list of recommended skills for students entering kindergarten.

These include personal skills, such as taking care of personal needs, readiness skills that include a base of knowledge such as knowing colors, the alphabet and counting, and social skills, such as sharing, being able to sit still in class and following directions.

"There are recommended skills," Daskoski said. "They're not required."

Daskoski said that in the future the school administration plans to have standards for each grade level.

He also mentioned placing more emphasis on the accelerated curriculum in the elementary school.

"Obviously, you have to take care of the students at the lower end," Daskoski said. "But sometimes the accelerated students are left on their own."

Junior high principal Steve Woolf said that the school would be adding a language arts class for ninth grade students, and that five core classes would be offered to seventh, eighth and ninth grade students.

Spanish would be offered full time at the junior high, Woolf said. And in addition, students would be able to choose from three electives, with drama being added as one of these classes.

At the high school, curriculum changes could include the addition of an honors English program, Bogart said.

To be participate in the honors English program, students must have a grade-point average of at least 3.25, must have earned an A in English three of the past four semesters and/or have been in at least the 85th percentile on the standardized achievement test during the ninth-grade year.

In other business, Kenny Mark talked to the board about adding a levy of one-mill for improvement of and maintenance of the new park. This would raise about $42,000.

Erickson said that the board will vote on this mill increase at the March meeting. If it passes, the resolution will be published for two weeks and the public will have 30 days to protest the mill levy.

The board approved the hiring of Carwyn Johnson as a food service employee at the high school and approved the transfer of LeeAnn Bond from head volleyball coach to ninth-grade volleyball coach at her request.

The board also approved the resignation of Dennis Petree, custodian at the elementary school.

One-year contracts for the six principals and assistant principals were approved, and the board approved extending the contract of superintendent Richard Erickson for one more year, making it a two-year contract.

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