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New dean Sperling delivers NCLB report

The Verndale School Board heard a District Assessment Coordination report by new Dean of Students Justin Sperling at its July meeting.

Sperling, who used one of the school's new interactive white boards to present the data, pointed out that the federal No Child Left Behind program has mandated that 100 percent of students in the United States be proficient in reading and math by 2014.

The 2008-09 Verndale results showed a 72 percent proficiency in reading, a 56 percent proficiency in math and a 33 percent proficiency in science.

"The standards the state has are really high and we're trying to figure out how to meet them," Sperling said.

Verndale has a 68 percent reading proficiency in 2007-08 and a 52 percent proficiency in math.

Sperling pointed out that the district's addition of more white board technology "should help students become more interactive."

Verndale received good target ratings in most areas of the 2009 preliminary Adequate Yearly Progress but was below the target in elementary special education.

"We will analyze our students and curriculum and see where we can help our students by addressing weaknesses in curriculum," Sperling said.

Verndale superintendent Paul Brownlow is working with another local district to purchase Polyvision technology. The school will be utilizing REAP grant money and special education stimulus funds to help in covering the cost of the new technology.

"I think the big thing for us is to recognize the things we are doing well but at the same time look at the way we do things for our students," Sperling said.

The board heard presentations by two insurance providers, Indiana and Riverport, and tabled the decision to appoint an insurance carrier for the district. Both premiums exceeded $30,000.

The board also heard and discussed a report on food costs and set breakfast and lunch and activity and admission fees for the coming school year.