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Waubun board talks about low math test scores

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Waubun board talks about low math test scores
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Low MCA-II state tests scores were the topic of discussion at the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth School Board meeting Monday.

Superintendent Mitch Anderson said that the district is not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress required under No Child Left Behind mandates for all students with reading proficiency.

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Free and reduced lunch students and special education students aren't meeting the required math proficiency standards.

The number of Waubun-Ogema-White Earth students who did not make or partially meet expectation is significantly lower than Detroit Lakes, Frazee-Vergas or LP-A

With the exception of third-grade math, the percentage of Waubun students who do not meet expectations is in double-digits.

Some of that, Anderson said earlier, is more due to the lower size and composition of classes.

"We do have some demographics that the other schools don't have," Anderson said.

The reading scores were up 2.5 percent as a whole.

A couple of programs are in place to help improve the math marks, Anderson said.

High school principal Helen Kennedy said she was shocked by some of the results, especially with the eighth-grade math scores.

"Nineteen took Algebra I and finished Algebra I," she said.

New graduation requirements that require 11th-graders to be proficient in math should improve scores next year, Kennedy said.

She added that the low scores aren't because the kids aren't smart. She wasn't able to pinpoint the reason.

Anderson added that the tests are a snapshot of a student's performance on one specific day. Board chairman Jim Hellikson said agreed that it's a snapshot, but the school measures its success by those tests when the scores are good.

"We crow about the snapshots that show we're really good," Hellikson said. "We have to take our lumps when we get them. We can't always have a good picture."

Whether the district will buy new cheerleading uniforms was a big issue during the school board's regular meeting Monday night.

By a 4-3 vote, the board approved spending up to $2,729.50 to purchase uniforms for the football cheerleaders.

Anderson recommended the purchase of just warm-up suits for around $900.

Cheerleading advisor Ann Wothe said that the cheerleaders who were at the nine-man football state title game in the Metrodome last year were dressed up in T-shirts and sweat pants.

Wothe said she has heard feedback about how other school's cheerleaders had uniforms compared to what Waubun's cheerleaders were wearing.

"We're hoping that by getting dress uniforms that will be putting in a level of professionalism in our girls," Wothe said.

Wothe said she found some options that cost about $120 per uniform. And J.K. Sports would provide the lettering and a lesser price than what the uniform vendor offered.

Cheerleading uniforms can last up to five years, Wothe said. She said that she hopes that by buying larger uniforms at first, the uniforms can be altered down as needed from year to year.

The plan now would provide 10 uniforms, but more would be helpful to accommodate future growth or different sizes.

"If you give us a budget, we will work with what we've got," Wothe said.

Waubun's athletic facilities took a bit of a hit during the Fourth of July weekend.

Superintendent Mitch Anderson said that some construction workers left open roof scuppers that allowed water to pour down to the wood floor. The floor warped and cupped where it was covered.

He said that about a quarter of the floor was covered in water for about 15 minutes. Luckily, a worker heard the water start to come down. Otherwise the entire floor would have been flooded, requiring it to be replaced.

Replacement still may be an option. The school and the construction company's insurance companies are hashing out the details.

The school's insurance adjuster said that the floor needs to be replaced, while the construction company's adjuster said that the floor could be sanded down.

Anderson said that sanding the floor isn't the best option since the school sanded it two years ago. He said that sanding usually take place every 10 to 12 years.

If the floor is sanded, Anderson said that life of the floor is decreased about 25 percent.

Two walls were water damaged as well. Those will have to be replaced and the two others may have to if the paint can't be matched.

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