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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

New science curriculum called bargain

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

McCook Public Schools administrators are impressed with prices negotiated for the district's new science curriculum. In some cases, curriculum director Gayle Sharkey has negotiated as much free as she is proposing to purchase.

MPS finance director Rick Haney told board of education members at their meeting Monday evening that the district budgeted $150,000 for new science books, and that Sharkey has negotiated a total price projected at $137,375.

A handout given to educators indicates that Sharkey has also negotiated "no charge" materials valued "thus far" at $135,848.

One company figures shipping at 2 percent, another at 8 percent, so, even with shipping, the cost of the new curriculum will come in under the budgeted amount of $150,000.

Haney said the school normally budgets $125,000 to $150,000 annually for whatever new curriculum is in the cycle to be replaced.

Superintendent Dave Schley said he is prepared to give Sharkey "the green light" to proceed with the purchase. Haney said that the board has technically already approved the purchase of the curriculum by adopting the budget, however, board president Tom Bredvick said they will formally approve the expenditure at its June meeting.

Schley said that Sharkey is purchasing materials from more than one vendor, and none of the individual purchases exceeds the $40,000 point at which bids must be sought.

Sharkey said, following the meeting, that she has been meeting with science teachers regularly to determine what new curriculum to purchase. "They have studied, and compared, and evaluated materials," Sharkey said, determining what they "have to have" and what they "would like to have" in their new teaching materials.

Sharkey said that her proposal to the board includes the purchase of one of each student book K-12 in Spanish, "so that English-language-learners are not learning the language and a science concept at the same time."

In grades K-5, the proposal indicates that the student books and equipment will cost $61,969. "No charge" materials are valued at $77,211. "We would get as much free as we've proposed to purchase," Sharkey said.

These no charge materials include online technical support and learning pieces, and online teachers' editions and student editions. If a student leaves his or her book at school, he/she can still complete an assignment with the student book available on a computer, Sharkey said.

Also among the no charge materials are teacher support materials, activities on CD and DVD and vocabulary cards for English-language-learners.

In grades 6-8, the proposal again includes the purchase of student books for $31,761 and no charge materials and online support valued at $40,999. No charge materials again include online editions of student and teacher books, and online lab videos and activities.

Again in high school, no charge materials will include teacher and student books, access to interactive pieces, teacher planners and test developers.

Purchase costs are estimated at $38,123; more no-charge materials may be added, Sharkey said, so she does not have a total of no charge materials.


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