South Range schools work to boost courses

BEAVER TOWNSHIP- The South Range Local schools continue to work toward the strongest possible curriculum for its students, resulting in high achievement on test scores.

High School Principal Steve Rohan told the school board Monday night that the school has been adding advanced placement level courses, offering honors classes that are not classified as advanced placement on student transcripts but allow for students to take the AP tests. This past year the school offered honors biology and geometry to freshmen and honors English and U.S. history to sophomores. Algebra II and college in high school chemistry will be added this upcoming school year while college in high school calculus II will be offered in 2014-2015. Robotics Club and principles of engineering will also be offered this upcoming year.

“This is the stuff that will show up on the [Ohio Department of Education’s local] report cards in a few years,” Rohan noted.

Test scores: According to schools Superintendent Dennis Dunham, preliminary results for the 2013 spring Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) shows passing rates of 97 percent in reading, 98 percent in writing, 97 percent in math, 96 percent in science and 96 in social studies. Of 114 students, 108 passed all five sections. Of 570 total tests, students passed 554 for a passing rate of 97 percent.

Preliminary results for the Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA) showed passing rates of 97 percent in third-grade reading, 97 percent in third-grade math, 99 percent in fourth-grade reading and 98 percent in fourth-grade math. Dunham noted that the results indicate a high starting standard for the Value Added score on the local report card that the district has been struggling with the past few years. The Value Added score penalizes districts for dropping student performance levels from one year to the next.

Personnel: The board hired George McDowell and Andrea Hiner as part-time bus and/or facility maintenance summer help and Ed Schaefer to perform bus body repairs. The board also approved supplemental contracts to David Purins, boys varsity track; Diane Krumpak, girls varsity track; Nick Haught, assistant varsity football; Jason Swiger, assistant varsity football; Joe Brooks, freshman football; Dacia Allen, middle school girls track; Roy Guy, middle school boys track; Ericka Burkey, middle school assistant track; Jim Hanek, varsity baseball; Don Feren, varsity softball; Nicholas Haught, varsity softball assistant; Jeff DeRose, varsity softball assistant; Mallory Jones, varsity cheerleading; Katie Colla, varsity assistant cheerleading; Mark Geisy, MS Computer Club; and Deena Suszczynski, Saturday detention.

Handbooks: The board also approved 2013-2014 handbooks for the elementary, middle and high schools, with times reflective of the new school day schedule for all students beginning at 7:50 a.m. and ending at 2:45 p.m. to facilitate the one route busing instituted for next year. The middle school handbook also addresses the conduct code, utilizing a flexible consequence scale to appropriately handle the differences between the fifth- and eighth-grade students.

Recognitions: The Academic Challenge team finished fifth in the small school division and 50th overall at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) High School National Championship in Atlanta in May. Eighth-grader Christopher Herubin has been selected to participate in MEDCAMP 2013 at the Northeast Ohio Medical Universities in July which will offer exposure to the medical profession. Teachers Krista Hosler, fifth grade, and Kate Hull, first grade, have earned Master Teacher certifications.

A fiscal year end meeting is scheduled for 7 a.m. June 28 at the board offices.

The next regular board has been changed to 7:30 p.m. July 22 at the K12 campus.

Kevin Howell can be reached at