All Lisbon third graders pass new state reading test

LISBON – All of Lisbon’s third-grade students have passed the new state reading proficiency test that could otherwise have kept them from advancing to the fourth grade.

The good news was delivered at this week’s school board meeting by McKinley Elementary School Principal Dan Kemats, who had reported in February that 36 percent of the third-graders failed the test when it was administered in the fall.

Under the new and tougher state standards, third-graders who failed to score proficient on the statewide reading comprehension test could be held back. None of the third-grade students in Columbiana County achieved close to 100 percent proficiency the first time.

Students who failed to achieve proficiency could take the state test again in the spring and summer. They were also allowed to take one of three alternative tests that are recognized by the state. Kemats said Lisbon’s third-graders who had still not achieved proficiency took the alternate test and passed.

“The main point is our teachers have done a great job with our students this year,” he said.

In other news, the school board:

– Renewed its building insurance coverage through the Holloway Insurance Agency for the next school year. Treasurer Cindy Shultz said the previous contract cost about $39,000.

-Waived the $25 annual instructional fee charged elementary and middle school students to cover miscellaneous expenses. This is the fourth consecutive year the board has opted to do this. The move affects about 400 students and costs the district $10,000.

-Received donations for the athletic department from the following organizations: Lisbon Roundball Club, $9,087; Lisbon Touchdown Club, $4,524; and in memory of Bud Hawkins (for softball), $210.

-Renewed the contract for trash disposal services with J&J Refuse for $601 per month, which is a 2 percent increase over last year.

– Adopted cafeteria prices for the next school year, with the only change being a 10 cent increase where mandated to continue receiving partial reimbursement from the federal government for the cost of reduced meals. The following are the prices: breakfast, 95 cents for all grades, 30 cents for poorer students and $1.35 for adults; lunch, $2.20 at the elementary school and $2.45 at the junior-senior high school, 40 cents for poorer students, and $3 for adults. Milk is 50 cents.

– Approved $127,538-plus in service contracts with the county Educational Service Center. Superintendent Don Thompson said these are mandated specialty services – school psychologist, speech pathologist, gifted and talented coordinator, etc – that are cheaper to obtain by contracting with the ESC.

– Renewed the contract with John Baum for tech services at $38.25 an hour for up to 800 hours. Thompson said Baum’s hours are being increased by 200 as he assume more duties due to the retirement of the school’s technology director.