Enrollment numbers healthy at Alta and Aurelia buildings

Friday, August 24, 2012

High School Principal Tom Ryherd told the Alta and Aurelia School Boards at their meting last week that the number of students continues to look strong.

The high school is expected to have between 215 and 220 students. Last year there were 228 students but the graduating class was a large class.

He added that fall athletic numbers are also strong - 45 out for football, 32 out for volleyball and 20 out for cross country.

He added that a new sign will go up soon at the Alta-Aurelia High School.

This year high school students will have eight class periods in the day rather than nine. The final period of the day will be a universal study hall which will allow all students the chance to go ask questions of any teachers. Students with a C or below in any class will be assigned to a teacher to help bring up the grade.

Early bird PE will be offered this year from 7-7:42 a.m. PE is required and with one less class time to fit it in, the early morning class will allow students to take the PE class while still taking a full class load.

Alternative school will be held from 8-11:30 a.m. in the old art room. Teacher will be Brandon Assmann and the curriculum will come from Bridgewater Academy. There will be three students taking part as the school year begins.

The alternative school program is something that has been discussed greatly by the boards. There is a need to provide an alternative to students that "are not quite hitting the mark."

The Alta board has been partners with Bridgewater Academy, a fully accredited virtual school, for the last couple years for the purpose of meeting all the needs of its students. The courses are taught on line and correspondance with the Bridgewater teachers is done with the students and the teachers, keeping the students on track to complete course work including testing.

"Every individual is different," Ryherd said during past discussions. Not every one comes from the same cookie cutter. It is our goal to give them the best education we possibly can. It's not right to say, 'you couldn't make it so good luck.' We have high standards here and we want to maintain those. This will be just for those who don't quite fit the mold. Why banish them because of something out of their control. We want to set them up for success if that's what they want."

It is stressed that the students taking part in the alternative classes will be selected by himself and high school counselor Belinda Shea.

Middle School Principal Ann Sandine told the board that the industrial arts room has been moved into the former library, as the old industrial arts room is now where the new cafeteria will be located.

She also shared that the new modules for the industrial arts have arrived and she is very excited about students getting to experience that. They are very different than the past industrial arts classes have been but she is excited to implement them and all require higher level thinking skills.

Elementary Principal Stacey Cole shared that some Aurelia elementary teachers had the chance to take part in training, provided by a grant, to train on a new reading program. It is hoped Alta teachers can take part in the training next year.

Numbers at the elementaries are being watched carefully to make sure the class sizes do not rise higher than ideal.

As of last Monday, there were 49 kindergarteners registered. If that number increases any further, the decision will need to be made to have a third class. There were 20 junior kindergarten students registered as of Monday and the 3- and 4-year-old programs are also larger than they have been.

In Aurelia, as of last Monday, there were 20 kindergarten students, 18 junior kindergarten and 32 preschoolers.

Contracts were approved for:

* Will Dible, assistant HS cross country coach

* Ashley Henningsen, MS Family and Consumer Science and Health teacher and co-coaching MS volleyball and girls track

Because there have not been applicants for the head girls' high school basketball coach, the board is assigning Rory Payne to the position for one year.