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School board discusses hot topics

November 16, 2012
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

TORONTO - Several topics pending before the city school board were discussed during its Thursday meeting.

Work is proceeding on the new district building to house grades six through 12, and the project is on time and on budget, according to Superintendent Fred Burns.

"(Contractors) are finishing the roof and pouring the (concrete) floors. Three of the four sections are completed," said Burns.

Board members also discussed parent-teacher conferences, said Burns.

"The number of parents participating (in the conferences) was up this year," Burns said. "We were very happy about that."

Burns also said funds from the federal government's stimulus were being used to purchase additional study aids.

"We are going to be able to buy some laptop computers for students and pupils with the funds," said Burns. "We also are going to be able to fund ACT testing for some high school students with the stimulus funds."

George Komar, president of the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization, gave board members an update on the walking and hiking pathway through the city. Komar asked board members for permission to use the new district building and to-be-constructed parking lot on the site of the current high school as stopping and starting points for the trail, according to Burns.

"We are giving him an answer next week," said Burns. "No (school district) funds would be used for that."

More high school students are interested in attending Close Up this year, a program that includes a visit to Washington, D.C., to study how government works, Burns said.

"At this point, we have 17 students interested in attending Close Up this year," he said, adding the cost will be shared among the school district, the Jefferson County Educational Service Center and students. "They all want to go, so we're going to try to send them all."

Burns said three current high school sports coaches would be returning next year including Eric Meek as head football coach; Mark Ferrell as head golf coach; and Chelsey Fletcher as girls' volleyball coach.

The district also recognized Herald-Star reporter Mark Miller during Thursday's meeting for reporting on school district activities.

The next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec. 20 in the Karaffa Elementary School library.

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