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Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Math books to be standardized

Some Celina classes had been using different texts

By Doug Drexler
CELINA - Celina fifth-graders this fall will be learning from the same math textbooks.
A recent curriculum review found that some fifth-grade classes were using different textbooks and possibly being taught varying methods to solve problems.
Celina City Schools Board of Education on Monday adopted the Go Math textbook program for kindergarten through sixth-grade students for the upcoming school year at a cost of $130,722.
"This was badly needed," superintendent Jesse Steiner said. "The teachers are excited."
It has been several years since school personnel reviewed the elementary math curriculum, he said.
The lack of a uniform textbook meant different students could be learning skills in different ways, he said. The new program should add consistency, he noted.
The teachers helped choose the new program, Steiner said. One advantage of Go Math is it already has an iPad compatible program online.
In other business, the board approved high school history teacher Derek Wenning as the school's new assistant principal. He replaces Brian Stetler who left to take a position at Tri Star Career Compact. Among Wenning's responsibilities will be student discipline and performing teacher evaluations, Steiner said.
Following questions from board member Ken Fetters, Steiner said the plan to renovate Jim Hoess Field at Westview Park includes adjusting the field and drainage patterns so overflow water will settle off the playing field. The district is trying to raise approximately $100,000 to match a state grant that would result in converting the land into a varsity softball field and adding three more fields.
"It's buy one, get three free," Steiner said.
Joe Hoying of the Celina Athletic Boosters said he would ask club members to support the fundraiser.
In other business, the board
• accepted the retirement of speech and language pathologist Connie Friemering after 30 years of service.
• accepted the retirement of preschool teacher assistant Cindy Gibbons after 24 years of service.
• learned Celina Fire Chief Doug Wolters has joined the building and grounds committee, which is reviewing whether to repair or seek a bond issue to replace the district's aging buildings. At an earlier meeting, business manager Dean Giesige said district personnel were considering an option to fund a new building for pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade at the site of the Primary School, renovation of a building for students in sixth- through eighth-grade, and a new high school.
Steiner said officials are still determining how much funding the state could offer before deciding on a plan.
• learned from treasurer Mick Davis the district has begun moving some of its funds from out-of-town banks to local institutions. The district several years ago had moved funds to larger banks to gain higher rates but are moving the accounts closer to home as investments reach maturity, he said.
• approved $750 grants for various staff members for the Resident Education Program, which pays experienced teachers to act as mentors to new teachers. Recipients are Christie Binkley, Lisa Bye, Erika Draiss, Ryan Jenkins, Shirley Kittle, Renee Kramer, Deb Lehman, Mark Loughridge, Wendy Mitchell-Payne, Chad Sapp, Angie Schwieterman, Doug Smith (two stipends), Marcia Smith, Steve Stewart, Todd Topp, Kim Wilges and Kathy Fleagle.
• approved the following as department heads: Jodi Wenning, language arts; Drew Braun, science; Erika Draiss, math; June Scott, social studies; Wendy Gabes, guidance; Sheila Baltzell, media; Marcia Smith, foreign language; Michelle Langmeyer, family and consumer science; Chuck Sellars, music; Amy Sutter, art; Carol Bader, business education; Lori Murlin, physical education; Renee Kramer, high school special education; Angie Fisher, intermediate school special education; Karen Ashbaugh, West School special education and Mary Vermeersch, East School special education.
• approved grade level chairs Katey Eichler, kindergarten; Cheri Hall, first; Kim Gause, second; Nancy Wilson, Tracy Brockman and Betsy Bertke as third-grade cluster managers; Amy Phlipot, Mandy Vehorn and Lisa Bye as fourth-grade cluster managers; Jess Homan and Kelly Keck as fifth-grade cluster managers; and Annie Homan and Cheryl Pease as sixth-grade cluster managers.
• approved the purchase of lot 84 in the Wheatland Subdivision for the 2014-2015 Tri Star house project for $26,500. The auction of the current house at 1216 Jill Ave. is at 7 p.m. today at the residence. The house will be open at 6 p.m.
• approved a 100 percent tax abatement for 12 years to Jeffrey and Patricia Hazel for the coffee shop they plan to open in the city.
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