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The January 8 Meeting began with association representative comments. Patti Kimble, of NCEA said that reps from her association were pleased that the Academies Framing Document was publicized within the Superintendent’s Newsletter. NCASE reps were also pleased that the recent Casper Star-Tribune newspaper article about project-based learning in Casper was featured in an online Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) newsletter. There were no comments from NCAESS or SEIO.
Next, counselors brought up the issue of needing printed out copies of the Academies Insert to distribute to 8th and 9th grade students. Kelly Hornby said that copies will be made available to the schools as soon as possible.
The group’s main task for the meeting was to formulate a recommendation to Superintendent Steve Hopkins for a common high school schedule. The discussion began by looking at busing options. Syd Webb, NCSD’s Transportation Director, told the group he could facilitate a new schedule by running two 1-tier systems. The two systems would be middle and high school students together and elementary school students separately. The plan would require additional buses and drivers. There might also need to be improvements at the two proposed hub sites (Park Elementary and the open field near Star Lane). In an effort to avoid a budget impact, members of the group asked if Webb’s plan could be run without the additional buses. Webb said additional buses will need to be added to the system either way. It was emphasized throughout the discussions that while the new schedule to accommodate the academy-based system has precipitated changes to the busing system – a change needed to happen with the busing system regardless
The following positives regarding the new system (and the expenditure of money to make it happen) were discussed:
– Improved efficiencies in the busing system
– Could adjust schedules in the future with less impact to the busing system
– More buses available for activities/special trips
At the end of the meeting the group approved that the high school schedule recommendation, using Webb’s busing system proposal, will be sent to Hopkins. Additionally, the recommendation was made to send the straw design of the common high school schedule (including impacts of possible bus system changes) to all school leadership groups.
The next Academy-based Learning Standing Committee meeting is on Wednesday, February 12.