Data testing shows promising results

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

Elementary aged students attending Meadowlark and Prairie Schools, have been participating in MAP testing. This testing uses data to place students at two grades above their grade level, one grade above grade level, at grade level or one or more grades below level in reading.

Teachers then take the groups and individualize their need for more reading. Students one or more grades below level are given double dosing which is provided by aides who specialize in reading.

Testing in the fall of 2011 revealed that 10 students were two or more grade levels behind. After using the system of data, four students moved out of the “red zone”. The six students that did not move up a level still showed an average growth of one year or more.

The average growth at Prairie View was nearly a year’s worth in just a few months. Teacher Karen Lee revealed that the results are very promising and that the “experienced” staff, which consists of the majority, has been there 20 years or more and are learning new ways to teach reading.

Joe Moerkerke has resigned as head football coach and Dale Janzen has resigned as head volleyball coach for Conrad High School. Cody Dugan has been approved as the sixth grade volleyball coach and Nikki Dockter will share the position of assistant softball coach.

Investments for November and December were equal to $2,179.27.

The Safety committee met to discuss what has been done since the school year has begun and the items that need to be finished. The main project will be installing and programming security cameras around each campus. It was also requested that a camera be installed in the time out room at Meadowlark.

The Drug and Alcohol Prevention committee met on Jan. 3 to discuss year round efforts to increase awareness and prevention. Ideas for the 2012-13 school year include new speakers, presentations and demonstrations relating to tobacco and alcohol use.

Savon Hilyard was presented as Student of the Month at UMS. Principal Tara Thielman commented that he is a “quiet leader… always does the right thing” and “can think outside the box.” Teacher Tammy Jones added, “he is one of the most likeable students I have had the honor of teaching.” Savon is the son of Dana and Nicole Gobert.

Will Younce was recognized by his teacher Jennifer Schlepp as an outstanding student at Prairie View. Schlepp called him a “firecracker” who is “very bright”. Younce said his favorite thing to do is collect rocks, bones and other cool things and his hero is the “Conrad Police Force”. He is the son of Cale and Mandy Younce.

From CHS, two students were recognized. The first was Ben Moerkerke. Janie McFarland summarized comments from other teachers by saying he is “always willing to help others” and is a “genuinely likeable fellow”. Joe Moerkerke, physical education teacher at CHS, said of his son, “he lives life by honesty and integrity.” Ben is the son of Joe and Stephanie Moerkerke.

Ruth Fladstol presented the second student to be recognized from CHS, Dallas VanLuchene. She said, “He has made Conrad High School a better place.” She also acknowledged that he is ranked third in his class and that she considers him the “real deal” and “genuine”. He is the son of Harold and Christy Stubbs and Derek VanLuchene.

Kamie Barnhill showcased Alexander Neihart from Meadowlark. She commented that he is a “delightful first grader” and will accept all challenges”. She also said he is “careful and neat, a good citizen and leader.”

The Conrad PTA will be providing dinner at Meadowlark, Prairie View and UMS during parent teacher conferences. They will be holding a membership drive and are currently raising funds for new playground equipment at Prairie View.

The next regular school board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Building. The building is not handicapped accessible and anyone wishing to make a request to move the meeting should do so by calling the personnel office at 278-5521.