Tri-Village News

Board takes final step to phase in three sports

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Grandview Heights Board of Education voted Sept. 18 to eliminate the additional fees members of the swimming, golf and bowling teams must pay to cover the cost of facility rentals.

The district now will pay for the rental fees, which altogether are expected to cost about $11,000 per year, Superintendent Ed O'Reilly said.

The action completes a process of phasing in the three sports as official school sports, he said.

When the board first approved swimming, golf and bowling as official school sports in 2007, the district began paying the cost of supplies and officials needed for competitions, O'Reilly said.

In 2009, the district began paying coaches' salaries with the intention of beginning to pay the facility fees this year, he said.

"It will make the coaches' jobs easier, because they will be able to concentrate on athletics rather than fundraising," O'Reilly said.

The district will begin paying the fees for the swimming and bowling teams this school year, but because the golf season is almost over, those fees will be covered beginning next year, he said.

"We appreciate the patience of the coaches, students and parents involved in these sports as we went through the process of making them school sports," O'Reilly said.

Also at the Sept. 18 meeting, O'Reilly updated the board on the district's compliance with the components of the law implementing the state's new third-grade reading guarantee.

Beginning next school year, districts will not be able to promote third-grade students to the next grade if they have not passed the state's third-grade reading test.

O'Reilly said he is concerned about the law making one component supersede all other considerations as to whether a student should be promoted from third to fourth grade.

"It's been a team-based decision between the school and parents, taking in a number of factors" including not only academics but whether a child is emotionally ready and has the maturity to proceed, he said.

Many other components of the law go into effect this school year, but Grandview already has measures in place that meet many of those components, O'Reilly said.

"High expectations and rigorous measures for literacy is nothing new for us," he said.

In the area of diagnostic assessments, the district already administers a diagnostic test for students, notifies parents if their child is not "on track" and requires that intervention be provided for students not on track, O'Reilly said.

The district is watching closely as the state redesigns mandatory diagnostics and is waiting for the state to define the "reading test" required of reading intervention instructors.

Grandview is designing reading improvement and monitoring plans for students who are not on track, O'Reilly said.

The district also has research-based, intensive intervention taking place in both small-group and one-on-one settings, he said. Stevenson Elementary School employs two full-time, highly trained literacy support teachers in addition to regular classroom instruction, he said.

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