Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Students okay with doing as told
By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
HUMBOLDT — A “pouch project” has proven popular at both the middle and high school levels in USD 258, board members were told Monday night. The pouches are similar to shoe pockets, explained Humboldt High School Principal Craig Smith. Each pocket is designated with a number, corresponding to a particular student, who uses it to stow cell phones and electronic media such as iPods during class time.
Students in return receive the privilege of communicating on their devices between classes at the high school level and during lunchtime in middle and high school grades.
If a child does not participate — even for one class period — use is revoked for that day, Smith said.
The policy was instituted to curb disruptions to class time, he said. While in the pouches, phones must be turned off, he added. So far, about 92 percent of the students use the pouches consistently, Smith said.
Another new program at the schools is Operation Orange, which “will reward students for daily random acts of kindness,” Elementary Principal Kay Bolt told the board. Operation Orange also runs in grades 6-12.
“Only teachers can nominate students,” Bolt said, for positive and helpful behavior observed during the school day.
Each day, one student from those nominated will be randomly selected to receive a small show of recognition, she said.
The elementary school received a $620 donation form the Carl Bigley family that will be used to place a bench near new playground equipment, Bolt said.
She also wrote a grant application to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to attain recycled tire fill for beneath the equipment, she said. The grant will cover $4,000-$5,000, or about half, the cost of the material, she said. Humboldt Elementary Leaders and Parents group will provide the remainder of the funding, she said.
Superintendent K.B. Criss reported that deep cleaning had been done to the fieldhouse and locker rooms over the Christmas break. In addition, Criss told the board “We’re looking at buying a snowblower for the district for days like today.”
Criss also told the board that early indications are that Gov.-elect Sam Brownback “will not be as hard on education as previously thought.” But, he added, the mill levy cap is likely to be removed, putting the onus on local taxing districts to raise additional funds needed for their districts.
The board took no action after a half hour executive session.