Altamont School Board Discusses Grading Scale Change, Common Core Implementation


Published on January 15 2014 3:22 pm
Last Updated on January 15 2014 3:22 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Altamont school board members and administrators discussed the district's grading scale and a potential change to the grading scale at the high school building.

Altamont Community High School Principal Jerry Tkachuk said educators used a January 3 Institute to open a discussion about grading and assessment.  Tkachuk said they are attempting to arrive at a universal definition of what a grade represents as they dig into best practices for assessment.  He said, "It won't be easy, or fun, but that is only because it will involve a fundamental transition for many of our staff."

Superintendent Jeff Fritchtnitch said teachers are working on the next phase of Common Core implementation for English and Language Arts.  Fritchtnitch said the District is fully implemented, though, assuring that the standards are being addressed across all curriculums, not just English and Language Arts.

Enrollment reports indicate 279 students enrolled at Altamont Community High School, up from 255 last year, but 506 at Altamont Grade School, down from 517 last year.

In other business, the Altamont Board and administration decided to seek bids on insurance as it has not been bid the past two years and since there have been relatively few claims.  The Board heard that the district has exhausted its emergency days for the year so any further days off will need to be Act of God days or made up at the end of the school year; upheld the suspension of a student and expelled the student for the balance of the school year with a recommendation that the student be allowed to attend alternative education classes.

The Altamont board sold by sealed bids two tractors no longer needed, one for $1,250 and another for $2,502; and finalized several personnel matters.  Jo Ellis was hired as head high school girls track coach and Gary Ellis was hired as head high school boys track coach; Kassie Bullard was employed as a teacher's aide; resignations were accepted from Katie Lurkins as high school assistant volleyball coach and Dianna Phillips as junior high cheer coach; and approved a maternity leave for Lurkins to begin about April 4.