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District 17 approves new reading series for next school year

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

CHANNAHON – Channahon School District 17’s four grade schools were closed because of inclement weather Monday, but the school board meeting happened as scheduled, minus planned student athlete recognitions.

The board did approve adopting a new series of reading/English/language arts books for kindergarten through fifth grade for a total of $146,000. According to Superintendent Karin Evans, two teachers from every grade level and some additional staff members, such as reading specialists, have been piloting the series and gave very positive feedback to administrators.

“The committee started last February,” Evans said after the meeting, “and we really felt it needed to be in the hands of the teachers.”

The McGraw-Hill series, Wonders, will include hard copy books for students and teachers, as well as online books. Other materials included in the package are practice books, vocabulary cards, assessment materials, poster charts and interventional materials. Teachers will begin using the books in class for the 2014-15 school year and will meet this summer to plan their use.

The district’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students also will have new books for their English classes next year, also after teacher pilot reviews. Teachers will receive those this spring. Their series is from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has already been purchased for $38,000.

The next textbook series up for review will be social studies during the 2015-16 school year.

Board members Monday also approved school fees for next year, voting to keep them the same as this year. Fees for early childhood classes will be $70, kindergarten through seventh grades will be $135, eighth grade will be $170, band fee is $50 and lunch fees are $2.30 a meal.

Fees for interscholastic sports also were kept the same, at $15 a sport. That amount was set last June, reduced from $40 the previous years.

Also approved was the 2014-15 school calendar, with the first day of classes scheduled for Aug. 18; Winter Break Dec. 22 through Jan. 4, 2015; and Spring Break is set for March 30, 2015, through April 6, 2015, with classes resuming April 7, 2015.

Personnel items approved included three new hires. Tom Stokke will coach fifth-grade boys basketball, John Kraske will be a substitute custodian and Chrissy Thomas will be a substitute cafeteria worker. Allison Garcia’s resignation as head track coach also was accepted, as was teacher aide Penny Larson’s retirement for of June of this year.

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