Schluter pleased with Chrisman students’ work

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CHRISMAN – The Chrisman Board of Education zipped through the Thursday, July 10, meeting.

Grade school principal Kelly Schluter was the only administrator present and she briefed board members about the results from the Aims Web Tier Transition testing for each grade level showing progress in English and math over the course of a year.

“Some of the classes were strong throughout the year and some were strong by the end of the year,” said Schluter.

Aims testing tracks student progress through a series of tests with one test administered at the start of the school year to establish a baseline. Other tests follow during the middle and end of the year to evaluate how well students are moving forward from the baseline start. It is just one test used by Unit 6.

“We are using multiple platforms, not just one test, to determine advancement,” said Schluter. “It provides a more accurate picture.”

This is a departure from when the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law was in place, which used one test administered annually to determine student growth. NCLB took a punitive approach and schools that failed to show the anticipated progress faced reprimands.

Schluter said the majority of the Aims test is done online by students in the second through fifth grades, although the reading out loud portion is done with a teacher, or other adult, to evaluate ability.

“The reading benchmark goes up with each test,” Schluter said, explaining students are expected to read a set number of words on the first test and the number of words increase with subsequent tests.

Unit 6 is hosting an early registration 1-6:30 p.m. July 31 for elementary and pre-school students at the elementary school. Registration for all other students is noon -7 p.m. Aug. 1 at the high school.

Online registration is also possible but the process cannot be completed online.

Schluter said parents/guardians still need to attend the registration in order to show proof of residency in the district and those types of documents should not be posted online. Personal appearance is also necessary for the adjustment of any fees as that process cannot be done online.

A project to air condition the grade school is partially completed. Schluter said eight classrooms now have air conditioning and the others will have to wait for the next cycle of installations. She expressed satisfaction with how quiet the new units are.

Board member Cory Chaney, who serves on the buildings and grounds committee, echoed Schluter’s assessment of the new HVAC system.

“The installation is good. It’s a clean job,” said Chaney. “Even when the blower is cranked up, you can barely hear it.”

In other matters, it was announced the district closed the year by adding a total of $521,000 to the fund balances, with $429,000 going into the education fund balance. The building fund and the transportation fund balances also grew, but by lesser amounts.

Mark Wyatt was sworn in as a board member. Wyatt previously served on the board but opted not to run for re-election during the April 2019 election. Darin Craig was elected to the board but subsequently resigned when the other board members refused to change the board meeting time to accommodate Craig’s scheduling conflict.

Wyatt is filling the unexpired portion of Craig’s term.