CASD Authorizes Bidding for Swimming Pool Improvements

CLEARFIELD – During its special meeting Monday night, the Clearfield school board authorized to bid for the tile replacement for the swimming pool deck at the Clearfield Area High School.

The bids will also include for new drainage around the swimming pool deck. Alternate bids will include for new acoustics and glass railing along the balcony, according to Superintendent Terry Struble.

Last fall, the district considered the swimming pool improvements. However, there wasn’t enough time, and the general contractor’s costs were higher than anticipated, explained Struble.

Before the vote, board member Gail Ralston asked if putting the swimming pool improvements out for bid also meant the board was committing to spending the money. Struble explained the board was only gathering project- and cost-related information for consideration.

When asked by the press, Struble said the district didn’t have an estimated cost for the swimming pool improvements.

During the Education and Personnel Committee meeting, Bruce Nicolls, director of curriculum and instruction, presented the administration’s recommendation for the elementary report card for next school year.

He said it’s been recommended that the fifth grade utilizes the same report card format as kindergarten through the fourth grade. Then, in 2015-16, it’s been recommended for the sixth grade to also begin utilizing the same format.

Nicolls said they weren’t recommending any report card format changes for the sixth grade next school year. He explained they wanted to wait, as incoming sixth-grade students just experienced a report card format switch and will again as seventh graders at the junior-senior high school.

Ralston pointed out that under “related arts,” the proposed elementary report card format includes art, health and physical education, information technology and music. However, she was concerned that it didn’t include library skills.

According to Ralston, there’s curriculum written for library skills. Board member Dr. Michael Spencer indicated it hasn’t been utilized in years though. Ralston said the district could change that with students now learning valuable research skills.

Nicolls explained library skills are often picked up in English and language arts courses. He noted library skills weren’t an assessment area recommended to the administration during the development of the proposed elementary report card format.

Struble, who previously served the Mount Pleasant Area School District, was then asked if students there were assessed on library skills. He explained the students’ library skills were likely assessed on a “pass/fail” basis and not in the form of a grade.

Ralston said she believed the district should consider assessing the students’ library skills like they currently are for the other “related arts.” Board member Tim Morgan asked if they should have the administration further explore assessing students in library skills.

When asked, Struble said in “related arts,” students are assessed on a scale with a three being above current grade level expectations; a two being at current grade level expectations; and a one being below current grade level expectations.

Board member Jennifer Wallace said she believed library skills were important for students. However, she noted the “Internet is the new library,” and for that reason, she didn’t believe it was necessary to assess students on library skills.

When asked, Nicolls said students who are currently in kindergarten through the fourth grade aren’t assessed in library skills. Spencer said it would be too difficult to assess 1,100 students’ library skills on a scale from one to three.

“We’d be asking our librarian to make judgments on too many kids,” said Spencer. When the board conducts its vote on the proposed elementary report card format, Ralston requested it be held separate from the other education and personnel matters.

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