Bond positive for student wellness [UPDATED]Published 11:13am Thursday, November 1, 2012 Updated 1:16pm Thursday, November 1, 2012
With the election right around the corner, this will be my final column to summarize comments regarding the District’s bond referendum. Our goal has been to communicate with all voters so they can cast an informed vote on Nov. 6.
The District’s bond referendum addresses the need for quality green space to accommodate physical education classes, practices and events, along with replacing football bleachers that are in poor condition. It would address student safety by dramatically reducing traveling to practices — as softball, soccer, tennis, football and track and field events would all be located on school grounds.
The bond referendum would have a positive impact on the wellness of our students and the entire community.
As our District works to improve the wellness of our students, we are concentrating on improved nutrition and movement.
Having outdoor education areas for our physical education and environmental education classes would enhance our student’s learning and health.
The quality green space developed in this plan would allow our fields to be drained properly and provide an irrigation sprinkler system at both Cleveland and Kennedy.
The referendum also addresses the need for additional parking at Kennedy, which would be at the same level as the football bleachers so fans that are handicapped would have easy navigation to their seat.
Even though the ballot question states that the bond referendum is a tax increase, the net effect is a reduction from the current bond. The 20-year 1994 bond referendum used for the science wing at the old high school is soon completed.
The proposed bond, if approved, would be at a lower tax rate. An example — if you owned a home valued at $100,000 your tax on the 1994 bond has been $24.16 per year or $2.01 per month.
With the Outdoor Facility bond referendum being voted on at the Nov. 6 election, that same $100,000 home would be $20.28 per year or $1.69 per month. The net effect would be a $3.88 decrease per year.
Curriculum Review Advisory Committee
Curriculum improvement is an ongoing process for the Fergus Falls School District, with each subject reviewed on a rotating basis. The review process involves researching “best practices” for each subject, soliciting input from staff and the public, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the program, and making recommendations for changes in the curriculum. This process keeps the district’s curriculum current and effective.
The purpose of the District Curriculum Review Advisory Committee (DCRAC) is to ensure active community participation in planning and improving instruction and curriculum. The advisory committee meets six to eight times a year, and the majority of members are community representatives.
Other members include a school board member, three teachers and a principal. Advisory committee members receive regular updates on the work of each subject area through presentations and reports from teachers and make recommendations to the school board on district-wide curriculum standards, assessments and materials.
Curriculum Committees are comprised of classroom teachers, specialists and administrators who represent various grades and schools.
In order to determine what should be taught, these committees: Evaluate what is currently being taught; review research and best practices; search for evidence based practices that improve student achievement; study district assessment data; evaluate curriculum resources available; and study state and national academic standards.
They recommend revised curricular changes to the District Curriculum Advisory Committee, plan new curriculum implementation, plan professional development and evaluate progress.