2010-10-21 / Front Page

CF Hears Online Curriculum Update

Approves senior trip with provisions
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The Central Fulton School District’s online curriculum is continuing to expand and grow, according to information released last week by the program’s coordinator.

In a special appearance before the school board and administration on Tuesday, October 12, Jessica Curfman said the online program finished out the 2009-10 school year with a total of 20 participants. As of September 24, that number has risen to 23 and includes three individuals who are in the midst of completing several courses in order to earn their diploma.

A further breakdown reveals seven students are returning to the online program from last year; three students are trying online courses to counter the possibility of dropping out of school totally; two are from a charter school; six students are considered new enrollees; and two students are attending at the request of a parent.

In addition, three of those students have opted to combine their online learning with welding and childcare courses offered through the Fulton County Vocational- Technical School.

Curfman pointed out reasons for choosing an online education in comparison to a classroom setting vary from flexibility in time commitments and social reasons to allowing additional time for work and parental choice due to behavioral issues. It is also projected enrollment figures will double by the year 2014.

Teachers currently assisting in teaching online courses for the district are Sherri Perry (business), Colleen Varner (English), Kenneth Welsh (math), Dayton Tweedy (special education math), Keturah Gurish (special education reading) and Curfman (health).

Curfman went on to touch on finances related to the operation of an online curriculum and stated almost $15,000 is being saved at this time through the use of in-house instructors.

One of the top suggestions beneficial to the program’s future, according to Curfman, is utilization of additional in-house instructors. By offering the same teachers in the classroom as well as online, students are more likely to receive much of the same information, which will reflect in PSSA testing results. She also made reference to better communication equating to higher student success rates.

Under the category of better or more efficient management of blendedschools.net, Curfman suggested reducing the number of accounts the district is paying for due to inactivity. The district is currently paying $12,000 annually, which covers membership costs and 200 accounts through blendedschools.net. Less than one-quarter of the 200 accounts are reportedly being utilized on a regular basis.

In other matters heard last Tuesday, Krista Daniels, Kirsten Mellott, Becca Carlson and Taylor Morton, class officers for the Class of 2011, appeared before the board with the annual, overnight senior trip request. The group, accompanied by Trent Matthews, stated they are planning on following the itinerary used by prior senior classes during a Florida trip scheduled for March 11- 18. Two chaperones are planning on attending, along with 24 students.

The trip was unanimously approved on a 7-0 roll-call vote. Board members Dr. Brent Carlson and Linda Garber were unable to attend the October 12 meeting. In taking a page out of the book of former board President Dennis Richards, President Cory Gress urged the class to have fun, learn and enjoy themselves, but to always remember there are other classes that would like go on an overnight senior trip as well.

In a follow-up motion, the board agreed to provide the seniors with $1,050 for the trip, which is the equivalent of two substitute teachers. The offer is a onetime deal and directly related to the small size of the Class of 2011. It was further recommended by the board that the class have both a male and female chaperone on the trip.

Superintendent Dwayne Northcraft and Matthews were slated to get together to discuss the issue of offering empty seats on the bus to retired teachers. Issues such as clearances will be discussed during their meeting.

The board also agreed to allow violators of the district’s tobacco policy to participate in “Smokeless Saturday” as an alternative to school suspension. The program is at no cost to the district and is currently being offered in neighboring Bedford County.

Multiple individuals were placed on the 2010-11 extracurricular activity salary scale. Those receiving approval from the board were:

• Brent Seville, elementary girls basketball intramural director, $781.67

• Timothy Fowler, varsity baseball coach, $3,145

• Robert Koontz, first assistant baseball coach, $1,995

• E. Loy Garber and Kenneth Welsh, volunteer assistant baseball coaches

• Stephen Truax, junior high baseball head coach, $1,730

• Randy Crouse, volunteer assistant junior high baseball coach

• Josh Strait, boys track head coach, $3,470

• Todd Grissinger, first assistant boys track coach, $2,620

• Joni Dunkle, girls track head coach, $2,945

• Kathy Kendall, first assistant girls track coach, $2,620

• Jessica Curfman, second assistant boys and girls track coach, $1,945

• John Heuston, varsity softball coach, $2,745

• Candace Bard, assistant softball coach, $1,995

• Larry Stepler, band director, $2,920

• Greg Strine, choral director, $2,920

In accordance with Act 48, the board moved $1.6 million from the unreserved, undesignated fund balance to the unreserved, designated fund balance retroactive to June 30. The money will be used for future payments of bond principal and interest as well as future payments of employee health benefits.

Rachel Leese, Madeline Minnis, Tiffany Hendershot, Joyce Mills, E. Loy Garber, Rebecca Bragg, Winter Johnston and Carolyn Stermer were granted permission to serve as professional substitutes having completed emergency certification training through Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11.

Matthew Guyer of Mc- Connellsburg was placed on the district’s substitute custodian list.

The board conducted a 42-minute executive session at the conclusion of its meeting. No action was taken after reconvening.

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