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High school math could be more accessible for qualified middle school students

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By Scotty McDaniel

The Shelby County Public School Board recently waived an existing policy to allow a single, upcoming seventh-grader to take a high school math class this year for credit toward graduation.

That policy was set so that only eighth-graders who had mastered their middle school math content could take high school level algebra early.

The board waived it once, and soon it may be waived for good.

On Thursday the board will hold a first reading to consider removing that eighth-grader limitation to make algebra I open to any middle school student who qualifies.

“It used to say only eighth-graders could take classes for high school credit. Because this year we had a seventh grader who qualified to take algebra for high school credit we are asking the board to have a first reading to revise this policy to allow algebra to be taken by middle school students instead of just eighth-grade students,” said Duanne Puckett, community relations coordinator for the board.

Puckett said the board likely has considered making the change for a while, and the decision to do so shows the school’s capacity to challenge student achievement.

“We have a strong enrichment component in student achievement, and this certainly supports that. Students that are eligible can have this as their enrichment schedule,” she said.

The board will also:

* Look into more construction plans for Martha Layne Collins High School. The board will look at approving a bid for an offsite sanitary sewer extension at the school.

* Consider awarding a contract for investment and the approval of a secondary bond of depository. “It’s just a matter of re-evaluating because of the interest rates on our district bank accounts. They decided to maybe shift some things around so that way we can have the best investment for our money,” Puckett said.

* Consider approval of budget amendments.

* Consider approval of Memorandum of Agreement with Kentucky Department of Education for Jodie Zeller for the position of Education Quality and Diversity, and Kathy Mansfield for Library Media Specialist Consultant. 

In a statement, Superintendent James Neihof said the district is always sad to lose qualified people from its staffs, but also proud that the Kentucky Department to Education wants those people for positions.

* Consider waiving board policy regarding the use of buses by outside groups so the 2009-2010 Young Leaders Institute can transport students for field trips.

* Consider waving board policy  so the SCHS boys’ golf and rife teams can participate in a Sunday activity.

* Consider waiving board policy so West Middle School can use a common carrier for a fieldtrip.

* Consider leave-of-absence and fund-raiser requests.