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Eastland board approves summer help for young readers

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 1:59 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:27 p.m. CDT

LANARK – A remedial summer reading program for K-2 students in the Eastland School District will start in early July after approval at the March 13 school board meeting.

The program will assist about 12 children whose reading skills are significantly below grade level. The initiative will cost about $14,000 for three licensed teachers, who will plan and implement the program.

Bus transportation will be provided, with students attending half-days Monday through Friday until Aug. 4. The program is mandatory, as is parent involvement.

The initiative was first proposed at the board’s Feb. 14 meeting. There, Eastland Elementary Principal Angela Mahoney shared data from spring 2015 to spring 2016 indicating that only 16 percent of Eastland students in the bottom 25 percent of reading skills were meeting their reading growth target.

Likewise, only 40 percent of students with individualized reading programs were meeting their reading growth target.

“We want to keep it small right now and make sure it’s working right, and work with kids who are at the lowest level,” Mahoney said at the February meeting.

New laptops

The board also authorized Superintendent Mark Hansen to enter into a lease-to-own agreement for new laptop computers for students in kindergarten, first and seventh through 12th grades.

The laptops are on a 4-year renewal cycle, and the ones for students in seventh to 12th are at the end of their cycle. Hansen will complete the 2017-18 budget by the end of April, then determine whether financing the purchase is necessary, or if the money can come from the next budget.

“We had been leasing on a low-interest loan through Exchange State Bank. I want to see if we can buy those,” Hansen said.

The laptops would either be leased or purchased from CDW-Government, a company that works with school districts, said district secretary DiAnn Adolph.

Without interest, the projected cost would be about $181,900; with interest – about 2.5 percent – the projected cost would be about $186,447.50.

NEXT MEETING

The Eastland School Board next meets at 6:30 p.m. April 17 at Eastland Junior-Senior High School, 500 School Drive. Agendas are available at eastland308.com, under the "board of education" link.

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