2010-01-23 / News

No changes for Lakewood School Board

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – Lakewood School Board members didn’t make any organizational changes at its Jan. 13 meeting. The board voted unanimously to retain Joe Bowman Jr. as board president and Judy White as vice president.

White will also serve as board legislative liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association. Board member Rob Large will serve as board student achievement liaison to the OSBA. White will serve as delegate representative to the Ohio School Board Association Assembly and board member Forrest Cooperrider will serve as the alternate.

Board committees are:

• Facilities - Bowman and Large;

• Personnel - Trisha Good and White;

• Finance - Cooperrider and Good; and

• Policy - Large and White.

The first regular meeting of the year followed the organizational meeting.

• Director of Pupil Services Arnie Ettenhofer said the this year the district will review its entire math curriculum in the same manner it reviewed its science curriculum last year and Language Arts the previous year. He said he hopes most textbooks won’t need to be replaced. “Math doesn’t change much,” he said.

“We evaluate everything we’re doing,” said Superintendent Jay Gault Wednesday. The point of the review is to determine which parts of the curriculum are working and which are not so changes can be made, he said.

• Gault said he was “very pleased” with the turnout at the latest community task force meeting Jan. 11 at Lakewood High School. The group is tasked with making recommendations on how the district can cut its expenses by $1 million a year. The group was formed after voters last November overwhelmingly rejected an additional 8.9 mill operating levy. He said task force members received a list of potential cuts and how much money each one the of the cuts would save the district. “Now that gives us someplace to work from,” he said. Gault was very clear, however, that although there is a list of suggested cuts and totals, no decisions have been made on actual cuts.

• The board adopted the Honors GPA calculation, which adds merit to a student’s GPA who graduates with more than the required 22 credits. School counselor Valerie Kieffer said that in terms of the standard GPA calculation most schools use, students that take weighted courses, such as Advanced Placement courses are penalized for taking more credits.

In the Standard GPA calculation, the formula is total points divided by total credits:

Student A A in AP Calculus (5.0 points instead of 4.0 as it is a weighted grade)

A in Advanced English 12 (4.0 points)

A in Physics (4.0 points)

A in Government (4.0 points)

17 points divided by 4 credits = 4.25 GPA

Student B

A in AP Calculus course (5.0 points instead of 4.0 as it is a weighted grade)

A in Advanced English 12 (4.0 points)

A in Physics (4.0 points)

A in Government (4.0 points)

A in Chemistry (4.0 points)

21 points divided by 5 credits =4.20 GPA

So student B has a lower GPA even though he or she earned the same grades as student A because he or she took more credits. The honors GPA calculation adopted by the board accounts for this and determines the GPA for honors courses separately from non-honors courses, said Kieffer. In the honors GPA calculation, the GPA is figured with a different formula that accounts for students taking more credits as well as weighted courses and makes sure student GPAs are not penalized for enrolling in more courses, she said.

• Gault said discussions about adopting school uniforms are on hold as the district sifts through upcoming levies and budget cuts. “We have bigger pressing issues,” he said. But, Gault was clear there would be no “uniform” per se. There would be “campuswear,” which is basically khakis and a shirt of a required color. He said three other Licking County districts are considering requiring campusware.

Gault said he isn’t aware of any district crediting the adoption of campuswear to improved academic performance. But that doesn’t mean he’s opposed to it. He said campusware “absolutely” helps student social lives by promoting equality.

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