Superintendent Chris Pfister
WAYNESFIELD – Waynesfield-Goshen Board of Education members unanimously approved a revision to a policy opening enrollment to students from anywhere in the state.
Superintendent Chris Pfister recommended the move during the board’s January meeting, saying the move could potentially bring more students and additional finances into the district. Pfister advised board members there was really no downside to the move.
Previously, board members accepted only students from adjacent school districts for open enrollment. Board members discussed making the move early last year but did not take official action to approve the more expanded policy.
Board members also approved a measure which will call for an earlier start in the school year in 2012-13.
Students will now start classes on Aug. 16. While the classes start earlier, classes will be dismissed for the year by May 21. The move also allows students to complete first semester exams before going on Christmas break.
“Students won’t have to go on break and then come back and take exams,” Pfister said.
Three different schedules were presented to staff and administration to review, and the newly accepted schedule was the most favored of the three.
Board members discussed with many of the sports teams and other practices already started, the move wouldn’t make the adjustment difficult for students. The new schedule also allows for more movement if make-up days are needed at the end of the year due to inclement weather.
In other business, board members accepted a move that will allow students to take online classes in the district for the first time in the school’s history.
The district joined a consortium of 21 different Ohio school districts that uses the Learn 21/Blackboard program, which allows teachers to provide work via computer.
“Teachers can capture an entire curriculum and put all tests on computer,” Pfister said.
To build on that, the school plans to use the Aventa program, which will allow the classes to interactive and take classes that are done twice a week online. The other three days of the school week would still be done in the traditional classroom setting.
Students signing up for the classes would take them on a leave-early, arrive-late basis, taking the classes either first or eighth period, the final period of the day.
“It’s really going to push some of the kids,” Pfister said, “but it is the way of the world. As new core curriculum becomes more challenging, we need to figure out more ways to bring it to the students.”
Pfister noted that all graduating test and OEA tests will likely be done by computer by the 2013-14 school year and that the move would give them a head start on implementing changes.
High School Principal T.J. Winkler will review necessary changes to have what classes that will be made available ready to be presented to the board before the new school year.