Offering of college credits from LCSC for classes at Prairie High School was discussed at the December meeting of the school board Monday, Dec. 17.
Tony Fernandez, Andy Hanson and Christine Farr from LCSC were in attendance to present a proposed agreement that would give college credit for certain classes offered at PHS. Fernandez reported this is something that is becoming more prevalent although it has been done in the past. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna has $3 million earmarked in his budget for this.
Fernandez said LCSC has done this with some school districts in the past but would like to get a more formalized agreement in place.
The advantage for the student and their parents is that credits would be $65 each compared to over $200 for students on-campus at LCSC. The advantage for the college is that by giving students a head-start on college while in high school, more of them would go on to college. Idaho is one of the lowest in the nation for percentage of high school graduates going on to college.
These credits would be regular college credits and would be transferable in nearly all cases if the student should go to a college other than LCSC.
Cottonwood school superintendent Gary Blaz said he has researched this extensively and sees it as a win-win situation for the school, teachers and students.
PHS principal Todd Shumway said they will be offering a speech and a government class during the second semester of this year that would earn students enrolled as such a college credit. They are also looking into working with the University of Idaho on some mathematics and chemistry class offerings.
The school board passed a motion to allow Blaz to proceed with working out an agreement with LCSC.
The board approved the Early Graduation Policy that will be added to the policy manual.
Meeting dates for January and February were discussed. The normal date for both meetings would be on a holiday. January’s meeting was moved from Monday, January 21 to Tuesday, January 22. It will be at the high school library at 6:30 p.m.
The February meeting will also be moved to Tuesday. The February meeting would’ve been on President’s Day. It was moved to Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and will be at the Middle School library.
Blaz presented a copy of the safety inspection to the board members. He noted the only dings were minor and most were corrected immediately.
The school funding litigation was discussed and the board voted to support the continuing effort with $500.
Cell phone bids were supposed to be discussed but Blaz said he’s not ready to make a recommendation yet. He’d like to get further information. Verizon and Inland Cellular were the two bids received. Making sure there’s coverage for the bus routes and activity buses is the primary concern.
In administrative reports Rene’ Forsmann reported the final junior high basketball game has been moved to Thursday, Dec. 20 due to a conflict. She also reported on Jessica Kaschmitter taking 3rd in the State of Idaho Holiday Art Contest. (see story elsewhere in this week’s Chronicle).
Forsmann also reported that Sonesa Lundmark received a Beading grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. This grant covers students at both the middle school and high school. She will have an artist in residence at the schools January 7-11 working on this project.
She also reported the winter concert was very well attended.
Shumway reported that all participants in winter sports made it through grade checks last Friday.
He also reported the junior class basket fundraiser went very well.
He reported the National Honor Society students are working on refurbishing the class photos that hang in the halls.
Prairie League is sponsoring an Angel Tree and there are still a lot of cards that need sponsors.
He reported that January 8 would be the registration date for the dual enrollment classes. A history class may be added to the speech and government classes already lined up.
He said he is also working on the Crisis Plan update, redrawing schematics for all the classrooms and the building as a whole, showing where safe zones are.
Blaz handed around a form he’s suggesting be used for superintendent and principal evaluations. He said it worked well where he was previously.
He is waiting on a heating plant report as they try to develop a 5-year plan.
He has also asked a lighting company from Lewiston to check out the gym lighting and make recommendations.
He also has a committee working on technology curriculum, what the scope and sequence will be as well as standards that need to be met.
In attendance at the meeting were four PHS government students and one of them, Calista Karel addressed the board asking that they look into making the choir director a paid position. She felt it might give more incentive to the person. The board adjourned into an executive session at 8:40 p.m. to discuss that matter.
The next regular meeting of the board will be Tuesday, January 22 at the high school library at 6:30 p.m.