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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Class merits parking, ACT, state testing increases

  • Eldorado High School has a new class and it is helping out the district's test scores, helping students with their American College Testing scores and giving students better parking spots.
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  • Eldorado High School has a new class and it is helping out the district’s test scores, helping students with their American College Testing scores and giving students better parking spots.
    High school teachers Miranda Cain and Cody Cusic told the board Prairie State Achievement tests in 2014 showed the number of students meeting state standards in math were up 2 percent — a six-year high — meeting standards in reading were up 3 percent — an eight-year high and meeting state standers in science were up 4 percent — a five year high.
    Those meeting the warning level in reading were 4 percent — an eight-year low and those meeting warning in science were down 4 percent a seven year low.
    The board credited a class called Junior Seminar for the achievement — an elective class taught by Cain and Cusic. Cain teaches English and Cusic teaches math. If students meet or exceed state standards on PSAE tests they are given a parking space at the school. The higher score merits a parking space closer to the school.
    There are two incentives to taking the class. One is convenient parking spaces, the other is more knowledge to score higher on the ACT tests.
    Cusic said the district has given out 40 parking spaces.
    “I applaud the students who take that class. It’s an elective and it’s extra reading and math,” Cusic told the board.
    “These two worked hard,” Hobbs said.
    Superintendent Ryan Hobbs said the increase in test scores had been rapid since the class was instituted and attendance increased from 80 percent to 93 percent.
    Budget
    Hobbs said the 2014 to 2015 budget runs a deficit of between $50,000 and $60,000.
    “The last two years we’ve run a deficit over a couple hundred thousand a year,” Hobbs said.
    He said there has been enough money in the district to cover the deficit and the district has cut the deficit by a significant amount for this school year.
    “The thing to be proud of is we haven’t had to lay anybody off,” Hobbs said.
    He said the district has lost 125 students in five years which amounts to a state aid funding amount of $6,000 per student, which amounts to $750,000.
    During the meeting, the board:
    n Hired Casey Patterson as an English teacher.
    n Transferred Kayla Bradley from part-time cook to personal aid.
    n Hired Cynthia Bergen as a personal aide.
    n Hired John Fuller as a teacher’s aide and personal aide.
    n Transferred Bridget Nolle from the position of teacher’s aid to secretary.
    Page 2 of 2 - n Gave Unit Secretary Kim Fitzsimmons a $750 per year raise.
    n Set Hobbs salary at $105,000.
    n Approved setting the salary of Elementary School Principal Blake Bradley at $67,000.
    n Approved hiring Mike Laswell as fifth grade girls basketball coach.
    n The board approved purchasing LED lighting for the court, the seating area and upper deck of Dugg-Kingston Gym. The board believes the improvement may be paid through a state 2012 School Maintenance Grant that has funded many summer school improvements.
    n Honored Junior Beta Club members who over the summer attended the Beta National Convention in Washington, D.C. Students visited the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, took a boat tour, witness a reenactment of Patrick Henry’s Speech, toured four Smithsonian Museums and demonstrated their talents, placing sixth in the Songfest competition.

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