Cartmell renovations ahead of schedule

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By Sharon Graves

The renovations at Cartmell Elementary are ahead of schedule and, according to a report from superintendent Lisa James, “the roofer is going to honor his contract.”

The roofer and the roof with being completed properly have had some issues to this point, but James told the March 24 board of education meeting that all problems have been solved and the building will be completely finished before school starts in the fall.

James also said all concrete work is complete and “the entrance is going to be gorgeous.”  She added the last round of ordering furniture will take place soon.  

Board member Mona Kindoll who has been in the building every week during the renovation, said in an interview following the meeting, the building looks just like the plans and she is pleased with the progress.  She added they wanted Cartmell to blend with the nearby high school. 

Board approves 2011-12 school calendar, 4-1

By a vote of 4-1, the board approved the calendar for 2011-2012, with Mona Kindoll casting the one dissenting vote.  Two options were presented to the board in a previous meeting and teachers also had the opportunity to weigh in on which they preferred. James explained it was a board decision, but they wanted to know the teachers preference. 

Option 1 allows for a two-week leave at Christmas and appeared to be the reason teachers favored that option.  Board President Jennifer Beach asked why the teachers preferred option 1 and James explained they really wanted two weeks off. The other option included a shorter break at Christmas.

“People want to travel, they go to multiple places and they don’t have enough time,” middle school principal Dana Oak said of the reasoning given from teachers in her building. 

Kindoll expressed she felt Option 2 was a better calendar for students and with Option 1, if there are no snow days, the school year would end on a Monday and did not realistically think students would return on that day. 

District employees attend thinking seminar

Energizing was a word many district employees used to describe the Denver Thinking Strategy program 10 Carroll County teachers, instructional coaches and principals, as well as Pam Williams and James attended in Oldham County.  James, Williams, and Principal Doug Oak of Cartmell all described the three-day conference as energizing because of the insight into deeper thinking they all received.   

James explained the Denver Thinking Strategy teaches eight strategies to create deeper thinking between teacher and students allowing learners to depend more on themselves to understand material and less on teachers giving them information.  The new program will be implemented during the next three to five years in the Carroll County schools. 

James believes the Denver Thinking Strategy is essential to help move the district forward.  “A depth of understanding is what we’re missing,” she explained.  Two or three classes in each school will be engaging in the new program over the next year or two while the district continues to receive more training in the strategy. 

CCMS video encourages everyone to read

Christie Jones from the middle school played a video that is currently available on School Tube titled “Read It CCMS”.  The video was created and produced entirely by middle school teachers and students and encourages all to read.  Any student who wanted to be involved could be and parts of the video were shot in the gymnasium with the student body doing a rap with dance movements and the wave.  The video can be seen on School Tube, a media outlet for schools and Jones said she is trying to get it on YouTube as well.  To view the video google www.schooltube.comand type “Read It by CCMS” in the search box. 

Miller, Osborne given ‘Champion’ award

Carol Miller and Bill Osborne each received a Champion for Kids Award.  Miller, a teacher at Kathryn Winn wrote a book titled “Hello Wisdom and Wonder”, about Kathryn Winn Elementary school with all proceeds to be used for playground equipment. 

Osborne, manager of Carrollton Utilities, received the honor for his work and being a driving force behind Carroll County Junior Panthers, in an effort to grow athletics in the district.