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Reading program is seeing results

Park Rapids Century Elementary students are receiving intense reading instruction in order to achieve.

Bob Kapsner, a Century Elementary teacher specializing in the school's reading program, gave an update to the school board.

"We just did testing with kids just after Christmas," he said.

The tests measure reading fluency in kindergarten through fourth graders. It is the fourth year this testing has been done at the school.

"We get kind of a running record of how they're doing," Kapsner said.

Students are categorized at three levels: On level, somewhat at risk and most at risk. Then students who are at risk or somewhat at risk are given additional reading instruction and tested more frequently.

Teachers are able to pull up data for each student during conference time to talk with parents about reading skills.

Each year students' reading skills seem to slide a little bit during the summer months, Kapsner said. The goal is to lessen that slide each year.

"One of the things we did this year was, in looking at the data, in the second grade ... the slide was a little too much," he said.

More time was spent on reading instruction with these students. Some of the programs include phonetics and on physically training the brain.

Once students get to a certain point some work is sent home so students can work with their parents on reading.

"The paras have been working very hard on learning these programs and will be working very intensely with students to get those scores up," Kapsner said.

In other business, the board:

n Heard from Superintendent Glenn Chiodo that the No Child Left Behind waiver for the state is good news, but he's not sure exactly what it means for schools in Minnesota.

"Schools will still be held accountable as far as subgroups," he said. "... we will still have tests."

He is waiting for information from the state to be released.

Chiodo anticipates schools will find out details later this summer.

n Approved posting an opening for a facilities supervisor.

Chiodo explained that this position was eliminated years ago when the school was in a budget crunch and principals have taken over many of the duties.

He felt with recent school improvements such as heating and ventilation systems, it was time to have a point person in charge of the facilities again.

n Heard from Century principal Joleen DeLaHunt that a targeted services program for students has started Tuesdays and Thursdays. It has been going well and she would like to continue offering the program during the summer.

n Heard Kindergarten Round-up is Friday, March 30, which is earlier than previous years.

n Heard from high school principal Jeff Johnson that students are preparing for class registration for next year already. Students will be able to register online.

n Approved the reduction of one elementary EBD paraprofessional effective March 7.

n Approved the Shell Prairie Lease Agreement for bus garage space.

n Approved the extra-curricular resignation of Amie Westberg as assistant girls swim coach.

n Approved the extra-curricular resignation of Tom Coborn as middle school boys golf coach.

n Approved the resignation of Sherry Thelen as paraprofessional.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561