Altamont Unit 10 makes course change
Dec. 13—ALTAMONT — Altamont School Board on Monday approved a course change and learned of a grant for a virtual technology that could further engage students in course material in the future.
The board approved a change to the district’s course catalog based on a recommendation by the district’s curriculum committee. The committee consists of various groups tasked with researching and recommending what they consider to be the best course material for their group’s subject.
“Each group was responsible for researching the best materials out there,” Superintendent Casey Adam said.
The change allows agricultural science to count as a science credit.
High School Principal Peggy Bueker said the district’s basic agricultural science course will remain mostly the same, but small changes will be made to the curriculum to ensure the course meets all the standards of a science credit.
Adam said the group is still working on compiling materials, but she hopes the committee will be ready with other recommendations sometime in February.
Adam told board members during the meeting that the district recently received a grant from Walmart for a new virtual reality headset. Adam and board members believe the VR headsets will increase student engagement with course material.
“It’s great for virtual field trips and simulations of many kinds,” Adam said.
Adam said this could include virtual trips to places like the Louvre, in which students can learn from the comfort of the classroom.
“We’re hoping to get more of these small grants to be able to start building and have a classroom set, and they can be reviewed and used by teachers,” she said.
Councilman Martin Reyes said it might be a good idea to introduce students to the technology now.
“That’s probably going to be the future,” Reyes said.
In other business, Adam said the district ordered nine LED stop arms for the district’s more commonly used buses in an effort to protect students from passing vehicles.
Adam said the new stop arms are intended to increase the visibility of the sign and the safety of students by reducing the likelihood of a vehicle passing the stop arm.
In other matters, the board:
* The tax levy approved after a truth-in-tax hearing. The levy is based on a 7% increase in the Equivalent Assessed Valuation of property within the district. “We are looking at the levy of $3,488,100, which is a 5.95% increase over the previous year,” Adam said. Potential future construction costs were one of the factors considered when requesting the levy, Adam said, noting prices for just about everything have gone up recently.
* Audience schools are busy preparing for their winter concerts. The kindergarten concert will take place on Wednesday, December 14, in the Altamont Grade School gymnasium. Altamont Community High School’s winter concert will take place in the high school gymnasium on Monday, December 19, and Altamont Grade School students will perform their concert the following day in the same gymnasium at the high school.
* Accepted the resignation of Ross Cornett as associate technology director.
* Accepted the resignations of paraprofessional Mackenzie Florida and warden Keith Evans.
* Approved the employment of Corbin Schwabble as a health/physical education teacher at the high school.
* Approved the employment of Deena Love as a paraprofessional at Altamont Grade School.
* Discussed and read through potential policy changes for the district. No action was taken.
Nick Taylor can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 618-510-9226 or 217-347-7151 ext. 300132.