Votes to renew after discussion
FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Questions were raised at the Marion County Board of Education meeting Monday as to whether or not certain reading programs up for renewal this year are the best option for students.
FastForWord and Reading Assistant subscriptions for the 2014-15 academic year will cost the BOE $97,393. The board approved the renewal, but only after discussion.
“Those are intervention kinds of software that can help students who are struggling in reading, and it can help anybody who is doing well but wants to even do better,” said Randy Farley, administrative assistant for curriculum and instruction.
The programs have been used for years in Marion County, but board member Tom Dragich expressed concern that the cost may outweigh the benefits.
He proposed that the BOE explore options from Fairmont State University, Pierpont Community & Technical College and West Virginia University to come up with a solution within one of those institutions instead of spending money at a company out of state.
“It seems that, with three institutes of higher learning and the people and teachers that we have, I would like to see an opportunity to sit down with those folks and see if there’s a way of coming up with our own solution to our kids’ problems,” Dragich told the board.
Farley told the board the programs have actually become more cost-effective over the years, and the BOE is seeing positive results from students using the software.
The program will be up for discussion again later this year, though, because the state and county boards of education will conduct a re-evaluation of its reading series.
Companies will introduce materials to the state BOE, which will create an adoption list. County boards will then go through that list to determine which materials will be best for their curriculums, and the chosen materials will go into use in the 2015-16 academic year.
The board also went into executive session Monday to discuss the creation of two new professional positions.
They approved the new titles — Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction and Coordination of Marion County Support for Improving Professional Practice — which will create a bridge to better link some programs involved in regular and special education.
“We just clarified how we want to reorganize some of the projects that we already have going on and have had for several years. Some personnel were being moved around, so we want to combine some things,” Farley explained.
Email Chelsi Baker at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.
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