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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Academic standards tightening

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Academic requirements concerning students who participate in school activities will become a little stricter, with a new policy McCook School Board members are working on.

The Activities Committee, comprised of McCook School Board members Larry Shield, chair, Diane Lyons and Sandy Krysl, is tightening academic standards for students involved in school-sanctioned organizations.

This would include sports, clubs and those eligible for royalty at school dances.

Shields stated at the regular board meeting Monday night that Lyons has been doing extensive research on the policy and has been receiving input from McCook principals as well.

State law now requires a passing grade in four classes per semester to be eligible for school activities. The policy is being modified by committee members to require passing grades on a weekly basis.

This would have an impact on those students who cram at the end of the semester to make up work that was not done during the semester, clarified Superintendent Grant Norgaard on Tuesday.

Before the policy is brought to the school board for approval, it will be reviewed by Policy Committee board members Teresa Thomas, (chair), Shane Messersmith and Tom Bredvick.

The board heard other presentations Monday night, including:

* an update from Deb Goodenberger, art teacher for elementary and junior high students. Goodenberger showed examples from her students and said her main goal for her students is to develop critical and creative thinking skills. Artwork can be seen at McCook National Bank and at Schmick's Market. During "Positive Comments," board member Diane Lyons commented that Goodenberger was doing a "fantastic job." Art brings a lot into the curriculum, Lyons continued, and that she was glad that a full time art teacher was hired for the elementary grades.

* Laurie Brening of the PTO, told the board that "Family Fun Night" is Friday, 4 to 8 p.m., at McCook Elementary. Games, a raffle and food will be available. All proceeds go to the school. Brening commended Sherrie Stewart for organizing the event. Brening also told the board that PTO donated funds to kindergarden through third grade teachers, to subscribe to an interactive Website, "Brain Pop." The Website has interactive applications for science, math and other subjects. A grant was used to help fund the subscription.

* FFA students Collin Messersmith, Change Koetter and Brendon Hauxwell presented a power point presentation "What are Agricultural Issues on Foreign Oil?" for review and comments, that they will take to the state convention.

* Third grade teacher Tara Fries showed a movie she made of third graders last year at "Outdoor Education Day" at Barnett Park. It was funded by grants from the Nebraska Humanities Council and American Promise. One teacher remarked that one student told her that he enjoyed not having to spend so much time riding on a school bus for this activity. McCook Elementary Principal Lynda Baumbach told the board that teachers logged in extra hours organizing this event because they felt it was important.

After the regular meeting Monday night, the board met in closed session concerning the sale of school district property. No action was taken after the closed session.

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