Trenton R-9 Board of Education tackles lengthy agenda after approving calendar updates to school year

Trenton High School

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education approved a request Tuesday evening to categorize two high school classes as weighted.

Spanish Four was approved to be categorized as a weighted class on a unanimous vote and Desktop Publishing was approved on a vote of four to three. Trenton High School Principal Ron Franklin said the two courses produce tangible products equal to any other courses offered as weighted courses, especially since the board of education adopted the Seal of Biliteracy for Spanish Four and the work that goes into producing a yearbook that has won awards for several years in Desktop Publishing. He reported enrollment is down to three in the Desktop Publishing, and he believed the enrollment would continue to go down if the course was not listed as weighted. Franklin noted weighted classes affect students’ grade point average.

The board approved a staffing proposal, which would allow for half a behavioral intervention coach/teacher at Rissler Elementary School. Director of Special Services Tara Hoffman said this would involve reorganizing current staff, and no new staff would be hired.

There are currently five early childhood classrooms with 10 sessions of prekindergarten, 150 student slots available, and 127 students enrolled. The reorganization will include four and a half early childhood classrooms with nine sessions of prekindergarten and 135 slots available. There will be no change in the number of elementary special education classrooms, which will remain at four.

Rissler Principal Tiffany Otto said the reorganization would help with the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan goal of developing and enhancing quality programs to improve performance and enable students to meet their personal, academic, and career goals. She noted the addition of a behavior management classroom will enhance the Positive Behavioral Support System.

Superintendent Dan Wiebers shared information regarding the 2018 Annual Performance Report. Trenton R-9 received a total score of 113.4 out of 120 possible points, which equates to 94.5%. The district received 37.7 of the 40 possible points for the academic achievement state standard, 8.7 out of 10 for subgroup achievement, 30 out of 30 for college and career ready, 10 out of 10 for attendance, and 30 out of 30 for graduation rate.

Wiebers noted the subgroup achievement includes special education students and students receiving free and reduced lunch. He reported all the scores except for academic achievement were as good as last year, and academic achievement is based on new standards. Science scores were also not included.

Wiebers shared Annual Performance Report percentages from other Grand River Conference schools, and Trenton is in the top half. He said every Grand River Conference school scored above 90%.

Wiebers also gave an update on Trenton R-9’s building project. He said the resolutions and ballot language were delivered to the clerks in Grundy, Daviess, and Livingston counties, and the no-tax-increase levy will be on the April 2nd ballot. Ellison-Auxier is working on drawings for the project, and the drawings are to be delivered to Wiebers next week.

Wiebers said he is to be on KTTN’s Open Line March 18th to discuss the project, and he would be happy to present a non-campaign-style presentation to discuss the facts of the building projects. Any interested organizations can contact him at the district office.

Wiebers reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Grundy County Health Department, which says school property can be used as a point of distribution in the event of a public health emergency. Trenton R-9’s new superintendent, Michael Stegman, will need to sign the Memorandum of Understanding as of July 1st.

Wiebers reviewed two school district policies and one procedure regarding weapons in school.

One of the policies says that “no person shall carry a firearm, a concealed weapon or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use into any school, onto any school transportation or onto the premises of any function or activity sponsored or sanctioned by the district, except or authorized law enforcement officials”, and “any person who possesses a weapon in violation of this policy will be asked to leave district property.” The incident may also be reported to law enforcement, and the person may be banned from school property or school events.

Another school policy defines school property as “property utilized, supervised, rented, leased, or controlled by the school district including but not limited to school playgrounds, parking lots and school buses, and any property on which any school activity takes place”.

A school procedure states that “possession or use of any weapon as defined in Board policy” will result in one to 180 days of out-of-school suspension or expulsion, and “possession of a firearm…or any instrument or device defined as a dangerous weapon” will result in one calendar year of suspension or expulsion, unless modified by the board upon recommendation by the superintendent for a first offense and expulsion for a subsequent offense.

Trenton High School Principal Ron Franklin gave the Vocational Report. He said 27 Trenton High School students are enrolled at Grand River Technical School of Chillicothe. That includes seven students in Building Trades classes and five in Computer Service Technology classes.

Franklin noted there was a spike in the Building Trades and Computer Tech is growing. He reported representatives from Grand River Technical School go over available programs with sophomores. This year’s presentation will need to be rescheduled because it was originally to be held on a weather day.

The board entered into an executive session for personnel.