School board looks at next year’s calendar, testing

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Monday’s meeting of the Socorro Consolidated Schools board kicked off with the swearing in of the newly elected board members, Pauline Jaramillo and James Chavez. Both board members were reelected to their seats in February.

During a re-organization of officers, board members were re-elected to their positions: Ann Shiells as president, Kimberly Gonzales as vice president and Dawn Weaver as secretary.

Superintendent Randall Earwood then talked about a revision of the school system’s medication disbursement policy which the board will be asked to vote on in the next meeting. He said the new policy is in line with recommended policies.

He also presented a school calendar for the 2013-2014 school year which had been recommended by a calendar committee and voted on by personnel from all the schools.

Associate superintendent Janice Argabright said two calendars were presented to SCS staff and they made sure everybody got a vote. The vote was 239 to 25 for the recommended version of the calendar the board will be voting on next meeting.

She said with the new calendar, school will begin later but, because a couple of breaks were eliminated, school will still end in May. Argabright also said it has not yet been determined if there will be early release days or how many of them there will be.

Jaramillo said she has heard parents say there are too many days off and half days in the current calendar.

In the principals’ reports, the principals talked mostly about the current SBA testing happening in their schools. The schools are making an effort to make testing a positive experience and are offering incentives to the students along those lines.

The high school will be taking students who are there for the tests and have a good attitude to an Isotopes game in Albuquerque.

At Sarracino Middle School, principal Manual Molina said a lot of time has been spent to see that students and teachers are ready for the tests. A pep rally was held Monday and there are daily drawings and rewards for students with perfect test attendance. They will be giving away iPods and e-readers, he said.

Susan Comiskey, principal at Zimmerly Elementary School, said students who have no discipline problems and go every day for the testing will be rewarded with a trip to the zoo. Anna Addis, principal at Parkview Elementary School where only the third-graders are testing, said all the third graders will be going to an Isotopes game on April 23 as a reward.