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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kennett School Board told about new reading programs

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Kim Rouse, left, and Kim Todd present their "Polar Pals" display to the Kennett Board of Education at its Tuesday, January 20, meeting in the library at H.B. Masterson Elementary. The display showed the various writing and reading activities that made up the "Four Blocks Program."
Kennett board members heard about two new programs to improve reading at the elementary level at its Tuesday, January 20, meeting in the H.B. Masterson Elementary library.

Board members and administration were also in attendance for another outstanding presentation by Kennett faculty regarding what their school was doing to help improve Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) scores. This time by a duo from South Elementary.

Kim Todd and Kim Rouse, third grade teachers at South Elementary, talked to the Kennett Board of Education about a new reading and writing program entitled "Four Blocks."

The Four Blocks program breaks down into four categories including Guided Reading, Self-selected Reading, Writing, and Working with Words. Students are trained through these categories to recognize similar areas found on the MAP test.

Another program that looks to help students with the MAP test was brought to the board later in the night by Elsie Heller, principal at South Elementary.

Heller, who is the curriculum coordinator for the pre-kindergarten through fifth grades, teamed up with Masterson Elementary principal Laurie McAtee to write an application for the "Reading First Grant."

"There are three major components to this grant," said Heller, "Those are the reading coaches, the training, and the scientifically-based reading research material."

Teacher qualifications for the grant were simply that the interested teacher had a knowledge of current research in the five essential components of reading instruction, experience as a successful Special Education, ESL, reading resource, or primary classroom teacher.

Experience as a building teacher-leader and/or professional development facilitator were also qualifications, along with an understanding of the importance of using assessment data to inform decisions and communicating results to students, staff, parents, the community, and all its stakeholders.

"I think that the grant will be one of the best things that would ever happen to the reading program," said Heller.

Heller said that the district was looking at possibly receiving $100,000 if the district receives the grant. The grant will last for three years. Heller is hoping to find out whether or not the district will receive the grant and how much the district will actually receive from the grant by April 1.

Board Actions:

-- Set the work/study meeting for Tuesday, February 10 at 5:30 which will be held in the Kennett High School Library/Media Center.

-- Set the regular meeting for Tuesday, February 17 at 5:30 which will be held in the Kennett High School Library/Media Center.

-- Approved the application for the Reading First Grant which will be completed by Elsie Heller and Laurie McAtee.

-- Approved a budget amendment submitted by Callewaert for repairs at South Elementary.

-- The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) management team will be visiting both the middle school and high school campuses on March 25.

-- The board reminded that a public meeting will be held Tuesday, January 27, at 6 p.m. in the Kennett High School auditorium to gather input into the matters of the 50 cent tax rate ceiling increase proposal and projected reductions.

-- Superintendent James Callewaert presented the board with certificates of appreciation in observance of January 25 to January 31 being designated "School Board Recognition Week."

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