Duncan Public Schools has taken the stance there is more to education than high stakes testing.
During Monday’s regular meeting, the Duncan Board of Education approved a resolution regarding high stakes testing. Superintendent Sherry Labyer said the resolution downplays the importance of such testing as it applies to the learning occurring in classrooms.
“High stakes testing is not the end all and be all,” Labyer said.
She said the resolution has become important because of the district’s curriculum change from PASS Objectives to Common Core and the introduction of Career Pathways.
Part of the difference in the two curriculum types is the student involvement in the learning process.
Common Core makes students more responsible for what they learn and requires them to think about how they arrive at an answer in their assignments.
“Common Core is not a route movement,” Labyer said. “It digs deeper.”
Although testing will continue to be part of the learning process, Common Core isn’t aimed at preparing students to take tests but getting them to think beyond the basics.
“We’re about more than testing students,” she said.
The introduction of Common Core isn’t the only change starting with the 2012-13 school year. At the high school level, traditional scheduling is returning. With traditional scheduling, students will attend seven 50-minute classes every day instead of being in the same class for longer blocks of time.
All of the schools will experience a change in start times. All the elementary schools and Duncan High School will start each day at 8 a.m. Duncan Middle School’s start time is changing to 8:30 a.m. The change in schedule is a result of the change to traditional schedule.
From elementary to high school, every grade level will feel the impact of Duncan’s pilot program, Career Pathways. This program will get students thinking about what they want to do after graduation and will help them determine what classes they need to follow a specific career path.
Duncan Middle School will also take on Project Lead the Way, which will give some students and introduction to various jobs in science in math. This will tie into Career Pathways and will help students realize what jobs are available in those fields.
In other action:
n The school board entered into an agreement with the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA). The agreement will allow the district to participate in CCOSA’s Legal Assistance Program for the 2012-13 school year. The cost of entering the agreement is $800.
“The reason I recommend we enter into this agreement is because they have a new staff attorney who specializes in special education law,” Labyer said. “If we have any questions, we would have access to her.”
n The board approved an agreement with South Central Oklahoma Online Consortium Cooperative. This allows the school district to jointly pursue online course work with the cooperative.
Labyer said the school board approved 15 licenses during the July 10 regular meeting. Although the school district would only have 15 licenses, more than 15 students could use those licenses. The only limitation is only 15 students can use those licenses at one time.
n The board approved paying Stephen H. McDonald & Associates Inc. $9,550 for services rendered in relation to work done with the Duncan High School bond issue.
In July, McDonald and members of his team work on coming up with designs for the Duncan High School renovation.
n Board members approved an agreement with Youth Services for Stephens County, Tracie Gillispie and the school district for the 2012-13 school year. Gillispie is a certified school psychologist contractor and evaluator.
The school district doesn’t have someone on staff who can run a variety of test to determine which students are developmentally delayed. Labyer said until the potion can be filled, contracting outside the school district is the district’s best option.
“We tested 70 students last year,” Labyer said. “We tested 25 that were developmentally delayed.”
Duncan, Comanche, Marlow, Central High, Bray-Doyle, Empire and Velma-Alma schools are closed for Monday March 3.
Empire FFA champions
The Waurika P.I. recently held its annual FFA Opening Ceremonies contest at the First Baptist Church in Marlow. Chapters from Stephens and Jefferson County competed for first place and an opportunity to attend the state contest in Stillwater.
Seventeen teams competed with four coming back for the finals. The Empire FFA ninth grade team came out on top. Team members were Cale Schreiner, Anna Mitchell, Luke Davis, Alexia Newman, Ryley Dumas and Blake Cheatwood.
Greenhand quiz finalists
Ryley Dumas of the Empire FFA chapter and Ryan Kerr of the Duncan FFA chapter were two of 50 high school freshmen FFA members from across Oklahoma to qualify for the state finals of the Greenhand Quiz Career Development event held Oct. 21 on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Central High FFA attends National Convention
Central High FFA attends National FFA Convention
A group of 11 students and five adults from Central High left the Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 30 on their journey to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ken.
Duncan High yearbook team proves they’re ‘smoking hot’
Deadlines, staff meetings and presentations are only a few of the reasons the Duncan High School Smoke Rings yearbook staff were awarded with Sweepstakes for the second consecutive year.
This year’s yearbook “Smoke Rings” and newspaper “Demon Pitchfork” staff attended Fall Media Monday, hosted by Oklahoma Scholastic Media, on Nov. 4 at the University of Oklahoma. Staff members had their choice of various sessions to attend throughout the first part of the day, then awards were announced for the 2012-13 yearbooks.
Schools receive A-F report cards
Most school districts may not be happy about the results of the A-F grading system released Wednesday.
The Duncan School District received a D+, a grade it shares with the Comanche, Empire and Velma-Alma school districts. Those grades make up half of the school districts in Stephens County.
Other county results included Grandview with a C, Bray-Doyle with a C+, Marlow with a B- and Central High with an A. Central High was the only school district to receive an A last year.
- Waurika reacts to state standards
Teacher of the Year candidates
Nine Duncan teachers were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Duncan School District. And in two weeks one will be selected as Teacher of the Year.
These nine teachers are this year’s teacher of the year nominees. They include Christy Jarboe, Emerson Elementary; Kyle McPherson, Plato Elementary; Cindy Millirons, Woodrow Wilson Elementary; Michelle Spurgin, Mark Twain Elementary; Amy Benton, Horace Mann Elementary; Tammy Bennett, Duncan Middle School; and Denise Clark and Lisa Snider, Duncan High School.
DHS Band places eighth in OBA contest
Duncan High School Band’s marching season is drawing to a close. And for its final contest, the band placed eighth overall, while giving what Band Director Jeramy Haas referred to as its best performance.
The band competed in the Oklahoma Band Association (OBA) contest Oct. 26 in Mustang. The contest featured 4A and 5A high school bands from around the state. And the DHS Band was one of the competing bands to make it to finals.
Otha Grimes Scholarship benefits 10 nursing students
Ten Red River Technology Center Practical Nursing students were recently awarded the fall Otha Grimes Scholarship by the Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation.
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- School closings