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Hillsboro school board focuses on curriculum
It names new committee, hears curriculum report
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There were a number of important decisions made at the Hillsboro School Board meeting Aug. 10,  preceded by special reports.

A Curriculum and Assessment Report was offered by Terri Fanta, who labeled it a “cycle of continuing improvement.”

In addition to an update and a look into the future, she discussed new course offerings, including Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry, Statistics, Written Communications, and Anatomy & Physiology.

A new Curriculum Advisory Committee was announced, consisting of Deb Barreau, Ann Brandau-Hynek, Kristi Jensen, Joe Nusse, Jo Peterson, and Wendy Manser.

Fanta reported that the group displays a great variety of viewpoints.

Elementary School Principal Cara Wood reported that the August summer school enrollment was 125.

The total Elementary School enrollment for 2015-16 is 265. That figure is within two students of the previous three years.

Open house at the Elementary School is scheduled for Aug. 27, from 4-5:30 p.m.

The first day of the new school year is Sept. 1. Wood pointed out that the opening is before Labor Day this year.

High School Principal Greg Zimmerman reported that 70  percent of the AP exams taken resulted in college credit earned.

Thirty nine Hillsboro High School students were tested, compared with 61,801in the state. The HHS students’ composite score was 22.1 and the state’s composite score was 20.2.

Back to school night is scheduled for Aug. 27, with grade 6 at 6 p.m. and grade 9 at 7 p.m.

Chromebook pickup is scheduled for students in grades 7 and 8 at 7 p.m.

Ninth grade students can pick up Chromebooks after their orientation.

Superintendent Curt Bisarek offered thanks to the “Smiles for Life”  Program before reporting on changes in the  school lunch program. New food charges have been mandated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

On a brighter note, he reported that a small number of people are organizing a Tiger Booster Club.

Student registration will be Aug. 19 from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

In other business, the Board:

• Approved a 5% per mile increase on bus routes. It also approved a $1 an hour increase in driver pay for extra routes. The contract is for five daily routes instead of 6. The result of the changes is a savings of roughly $28,000 for the district.

• Accepted the resignation of Junior High football coach Tim Benish.

• Approved hiring Heath Revels as head track coach.

• Approved hiring J.P. Da Prado as Junior High football coach.

• Created an activity account to manage Student of the Month trip funds.

• Approved the preliminary budget as presented by Business Manager Mindy Boldon.

•  Approved a non-conference basketball game against Richland Center Dec. 12. JV at 11:10 a.m. and Varsity at 12:50 p.m.

• Approved the Elementary Student Handbook as presented by Wood with no substantial changes from 2014-15.

• Approved the addition of the “Return to Play” protocol for student athletes returning from concussions.

• Approved language giving the uperintendent authority to give preliminary hiring if a teacher retired after the regular August meeting so that the hiring could move forward in time for the start of the school year. The Board of Education will still have final hiring authority.

• Approved the second reading of the Fleet Safety Policy with no changes.

• Approved the first reading of participation of non-public school students in district programs and activities.

• Approved a notice that identifies the student academic standards that will be in effect for the 2015-16 school year, including the standards for the content areas that are expressly identified in section 118.30 (1g) (a) of state statutes. The district will share the standards with parents via the school website.

In addition, fiscal management revision policies were shared with a second reading scheduled for Sept. 14.