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Columbiana school officials eye reading rules

September 13, 2012
Morning Journal News

COLUMBIANA - New state legislation targeted toward third grade reading proficiency could result in more students being held back from fourth grade, city schools Superintendent Don Mook said this week.

Mook briefed board of education members and building principals on the legislation at the recent board meeting.

The law takes effect this school year and requires students entering the third grade to demonstrate a certain level of competency in reading before advancing to the fourth grade. The level will start between "limited" and "proficient" and will rise over time, he explained.

While reading proficiency at Joshua Dixon Elementary has not been in the lower levels, Mook said the school should still make third grade reading an "area of concern" and remain focused on getting students prepared to meet all the necessary requirements for passing.

He wondered how the legislation would affect staffing levels, if few students were able to meet the requirements.

"This means that students who don't make it will not pass third grade. Holding students back could affect staffing levels, if a large amount of students are held back," he said. "We are going to want to really target our kids for that reading test."

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee was introduced by Gov. John Kasich earlier this year as part of Senate Bill 316.

Other states have also recently approved similar legislation.

In other business, the board approved several personnel matters, including:

- The resignations of Kathy Davis, elementary school custodian, effective Aug. 10, and Casey Cusick, elementary cafeteria cashier, effective Aug. 31. (Cusick was then approved for preschool classroom aide for this school year. Bobbi Bregar was approved to fill the elementary cashier position.)

- Parental leave for Lindsay Gauding, elementary teacher, effective Sept. 17 through Dec. 7.

- Retirement resignation of Christine Wolf, elementary cook, effective Oct. 1.

- Eleven people as substitute teachers and four as substitute support staff.

- Changing salary for four teachers.

- Bob Ferranti as high school chemistry and physics long-term substitute teacher, Nick Bacha as part-time high school custodian, Sean Ferall as part-time middle school custodian and Ryan Rohrbaugh as part-time middle school custodian.

- Larry Baughman as preschool individual aide, Joseph Carbon as part-time middle school tutor, Andrew Kinard as individual aide/paraprofessional (bus attendant), and Andrew Whitmer as high school language arts teacher.

- Three people were given a shared contract for the assistant speech and debate coach position. Wes Cross was approved for the 8th grade girls basketball coaching position.

- Supplemental contracts were awarded to Nadine Martin, mentor, and Jodi Taylor, Interact adviser.

- Two people as volunteers for the soccer program and one person as volunteer flute instructor for the band program.

The board also approved all other matters on the agenda, including the August financial report. The next meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the high school media center.



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