County policy should resolve testing queries

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2002

A new policy is now in place in the Lincoln County SchoolDistrict to resolve questions about a statewide testing policy thatwas adopted last year.

School board members accepted the new policy that clarifies whatsteps should be taken in special circumstances involving SubjectArea Testing that will begin this year. The tests, which studentsmust pass, will be given at the end of each semester and at the endof the summer in Algebra I, Biology I, English II and U.S.History.

“State law doesn’t say what to do if a student fails the testand passes the course, or passes the test and fails the course.It’s left up to each school district to come up with a policy,”Assistant Superintendent Dr. Leanne Summers explained to boardmembers Tuesday during their meeting.

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The policy adopted Tuesday states that if a student passes therequired test, but fails the course, the student will be given aminimum grade (D) in the course and awarded a Carnegie Unit.

If a student passes the course, but fails the Subject Area Test,the student will be required to enroll and attend the class for thecourse until the Subject Area Test is passed.

“Hopefully we’re not going to have that problem, but we have tolook ahead and prepare,” Summers said.

When board members asked about what other school districts wereplanning, Summers said most have not adopted a policy yet.

“It’s very controversial and we’ve had many discussions withadministrators and Subject Area teachers to develop this policy,”she commented.

Board members believed the policy would be a fair way to handleany such situations that may arise when the tests areadministered.

“I’m sure what you came up with is the best way to go,” saidJerry Coon, board vice-president.

Other matters of discussion by the school board Tuesdayconcerned lowering a lease payment for 16th Section land because itwas considered a hardship case.

The board voted unanimously to decrease the payment on VernieWalker’s 27-acre lease from $25 to $15 an acre.

In a letter to the board, Walker explained how she had problemsmaking the payment because she was a disabled senior citizen on afixed income and she hoped they would consider decreasing thepayment to $14.30.

“The policy states that the minimum is $25, with the stipulationthat they can negotiate in cases of hardship,” said SuperintendentPerry Miller.

The reduction will decrease Walker’s payment from $675 a year to$405 a year. Board members also opted to change her lease term from10 years to five years.

During the meeting, the board also gave approval for trees to becut on the 15-20 acres behind the agriculture shop at EnterpriseAttendance Center, where the new softball field will belocated.

The next school board meeting will be held at 10 a.m., Feb. 4,at West Lincoln Attendance Center.