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Lamar School Board Discusses Curriculum Implementation And Upgrades to Facilities

by Stephanie Baker

The Lamar School Board met on Monday, Sept. 25, and reviewed progress of the implementation of new curriculum across all levels, and approved purchases for upgrades to facilities throughout the district.

Curriculum Coordinator Lisa Collins presented updates on both students’ and teachers’ adaptation to the new curricula implemented at the beginning of the school year. The drastic change was difficult and stressful at times for teachers but remains promising in the instruction of students and meeting new state standards, Collins said.

Collins reported that the process of fully integrating the new curriculum would take up to three years and that extra support and training was being provided to teachers throughout the district. She assured Board members that the change had been the right decision despite the growing pains teachers have faced in planning and teaching a new curriculum.

In other matters, the Board approved spending $880,000 to reroof the elementary school, gym, and administration building. The project is set to begin in March and be completed at the same time as the updates to the HVAC system.

At the recommendation of Superintendent David Tollett, the network upgrades were approved costing $61,000 with the district responsible for $13,000 of that amount.

Also approved was the district’s balanced budget with $11,819,126 in both revenue and expenditures.

Tollett also recommended switching the designation of the school’s current calendar to an alternative calendar from a traditional one. The change in classification will not affect any of the dates on the current calendar but will change the way cancelled school days can be made up, allowing the district to measure instruction time in minutes and hours instead of solely units of days. The Board approved the change. The district has already missed one day of school this year due to a power outage from a recent storm, and the state no longer allows AMI days. The change will affect all future cancelled days during the 2023-24 school year.

The Board accepted the resignations of Jeanna Cook, bus driver, and Myrna VonAllman, cook. Miranda Kenner was hired as director of community, parent, and student services. Aliza Jones’s contract as facilities manager was renewed.

The ABC preschool’s snack program was also approved for the 2023-24 school year.

For full story see Sept. 27 issue of The Graphic.

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