School board elects 2009 officers; earns state recognition

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

The Carroll County Board of Education elected officers for the 2009 calendar year at its regular meeting Thursday, Jan. 8.

Mona Kindoll, in her second term, was voted chairman. Jennifer Beach, who was elected in November to her first full term, was voted vice chairman.

“Thank you all for your vote of confidence,” Kindoll said. “I hope I live up to the standards set by Mr. Riley and Mr. Unker.”

Rob Riley served as board president during 2008; Unker was president in 2007.

“Don’t ever be absent,” Beach said to Kindoll, smiling. Beach would be in charge at any meeting Kindoll might not be able to attend.

The two also were elected as chairman and vice chairman of the Carroll County School District  Finance Corporation, an entity of th board that sells bonds to raise funds for capital improvements.

Jennie Weaver and Jon Conrad retained their positions as secretary and treasurer, respectively, for the board and the committee.Compensation for Weaver was set at $3,572 and $3536 for Conrad, an increase of 1 percent.

Jim Crawford was retained as the board’s attorney at a rate of $100 an hour.

Superintendent Lisa James said the new conditioning center is nearly completed. She said the district has a 60-day approval to use the system while the fire-alarm system is evaluated. She also said the staff and faculty in the district also will be encouraged to use the center weekday evenings as part of the “Healthy You” program.

She said she hopes, also, to have an open house for the community either in late Feburary or March.

James then introduced Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson, who read a proclamation to make the national observance of January as School Board Member Recognition Month apply to the county.

The designation takes special meaning this year, as Carroll County’s board will be honored by the Kentucky School Board Association. The board is one of 37 districts statewide that have met all 10 of KSBA’s standards for its  Advancing Student Achievement to Proficiency initiative. There are 174 school districts in the state.

‘Think Link’ explained

In other business, Assistant Superintendent Bill Hogan told the board about a new program being used at Carroll County Middle School to assess student progress throughout the school year.

“Think Link” replaces the Scantron program that the school had been using. Hogan, who also is the district’s chief academic officer, said the new program is easier for teachers to use. Testing, done on computers, also only takes about an hour for students to complete.

The program assesses students’ knowledge or core content in math, reading, language arts and science.

Hogan said the first test students took this year, in October, assessed their retention of things they studied the previous school year.

The second test of the year, then, assesses students’ retention of things they have studied since the beginning of the current school year.

Hogan said the sixth-graders, for example, who all scored proficient or distinguished on last year’s state-mandated CATS test, had similar scores on the October test.

Of course, on the second test, scores weren’t all as high, he said. That’s because they were being tested on new material, rather than last year’s.

Kindoll said she was glad Hogan explained the difference in the results from the two tests. She said her daughter scored distinguished in all four areas on the first test, but didn’t attain distinguished on all four areas in the second test.

“That explaines it exactly,” she said.

Hogan used oversized examples of the various reports teachers can generate with data from the test results.

Data can be broken down for an individual student, a specific class or for the entire school, highlighting where more instruction may be needed for the students to do well on the state test.

Reports can also be generated by socio-economic and gender categories, he said.

One report can show if the student was really trying, or “blew it off by answering A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D repeatedly through a test. The teacher then can ask why the answered the questions the way they did.

The program was developed by Discovery Education Assessment. More information is availble at ThinkLinkAssessment.com.