Alternative diplomas reviewed

by Steve Ottmann Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE.There is still a lot of debate between the School Board and district staff on the consideration of alternative education diplomas.

High School Principal Scott Fritz and Superintendent Chris Peterson discussed making modifications to the policy to allow students an alternative guideline to graduation at the January board meeting.

Currently the school recognizes the Challenge Academy or similar programs dealing with alternative education. Other requests would have to be granted by the School Board.

The proposed modifications would give future boards a guideline to follow.

Board member Richard Hemb said he feels that this is a good revision. However, board member Kim Plass asked at what point does the board address graduation based on how many credits and finishing out their requirements.

Peterson noted that each situation could be different, depending on whether it was an accident that required homebound education or some other outside situation.

“Each case would be reviewed if necessary,” said Peterson. “Our goal is to allow participation at graduation and will be determined on a case by case basis. Recommendations would be made by the district administration and passed on to the board.”

After a lengthy discussion indicated more research is needed, Peterson asked that the issue be tabled to another meeting where he would bring back a more finalized policy.

Peterson met with the principals to discuss class size capacity for open enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year.

The Howards Grove School District will participate in the state’s full-time open enrollment program in accordance with applicable laws and relevant district policies as well administrative rules.

Non-resident students residing in Wisconsin may apply for open enrollment in the HGSD in accordance to state law.

Peterson noted that priority will be given to students already open enrolled and then new applications would be considered by proposed class sizes.

If there are more applications than space, the board will fill spaces by random selection - however the school will make every effort not to turn anyone away.

Peterson said that the goal for elementary school is to allow 20 students in a section and the middle school would be set at 25, while classroom sizes for the high school would be determined by course selections.

The school will not turn down any open enrollment requests for special education needs.

The board approved the guideline for open enrollment to satisfy state Department of Public Instruction requirements.

Peterson discussed the new community survey draft. The purpose of the draft would be to get feedback on questions pertaining to school needs.

Questions would be asked on whether the school needs more tech education classes, more computer training, the new auditorium and more. Each question would show estimated dollar costs associated to the taxpayers.

Peterson stated that each meeting he would update the draft process before the finalization later this year.

Board President Mark D’Amico thanked the Cleveland State Bank for donating money towards the new STREAM laptops to be used at the middle school. During the student presentation, two students showed how learning with these new laptops has generated new ways of sharing classrooms exercises through Google Share.

The Howards Grove Education Foundation donated money towards the costs of Challenge Days held in September.

The Howards Grove FFA Alumni donated money with costs associated with the FFA National Convention.

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