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La Harpe School Board Discuss Grading System

On December 16, 2014, the La Harpe Board of Education held a Committee of the Whole policy meeting and a regular meeting in the school library with the following members in attendance at both meetings:

President Cindy Wear, Board members Bobi James, Pam Campbell and David Mershon. Supt. Ryan Olson, Principal Lila McKeown, and Board Secretary Jeanne Clayton were also in attendance.

The Committee of the Whole reviewed policy updates. At the regular meeting, the board approved the consent agenda, and payment of bills. The board held the FY 2016 tax levy hearing and approved the levy.

Superintendent Dr. Olson and Principal McKeown attended a standards-based report card/grading workshop.

Dr. Olson shared inaccuracies of current grading systems and showed a Rick Wormeli presentation explaining flaws in the 100 point system many districts still use to grade students.

Bobi James asked how teachers in the current education climate keep subjectivity out of grading.

Dr. Olson and Mrs. McKeown noted several ways teachers achieve objectivity in grading while complying with the current grading standards.

An automatic door opener will soon be installed on a main lobby door to assist in handicapped entering and exiting the building.

The entry security system is in operation. Some glitches with the 7-day timer on the foyer door are being worked on.

The board viewed more options for a gym floor logo.

Dr. Olson mentioned deadlines for becoming a school board candidate in the April election.

Dr. Olson, Cindy Wear, and Dustin Detherage attended the collective bargaining workshop at the school board conference, as negotiations for the new teacher contract will soon begin.

Dr. Olson provided the board with the recent Alliance Legislative Report prepared by the Illinois Association of School Boards.

Dr. also noted a recent Freedom of Information Act request received by the District.

Principal McKeown gave updates on La Harpe and Dallas co-op athletics.

Social Studies teacher, Mr. Raftis took the 7th grade to Historic Carthage Jail and the Smithsonian exhibit in conjunction with their study of western expansion.

Mrs. Mencel led the band playing in the Country Christmas Parade and directed the Christmas programs.

La Harpe 8th grade students participated in testing and a tour at Illini West.

Principal McKeown has completed another round of teacher observations, the Evaluation Committee met to discuss student growth implementation, and she has been meeting with elementary teachers on progress monitoring, math curriculum, and assessments. She also attended a workshop on Common Core with Standards Based Reporting.

To view online agendas, news releases, and approved minutes, visit the School Board heading, School Board Reports link on the web at

La Harpe School Board - Front row L to R: Pam Campbell, Cindy Wear, Bobi James

Back row L to R: David Mershon, Nate Butler, Mark Irish, Dustin Detherage