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Board of Education Work Session Summary: March 11

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Mary Ann Mitchell

The Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 Board of Education met on Monday, March 11, 2024, in the Liberty Middle School Auditorium for its monthly work session.   

 These are not the official meeting minutes and do not include every detail from the work session but rather a summary to assist the District #7 community. The official minutes can be found on the District #7 Board of Education Board Docs once approved by the Board.      

Transportation Study 
Dr. Randall Pearson and Zach Schleicher of SIUE are working on a transportation study for District #7, focusing on maximizing efficiency and determining the optimal routing system to enhance instructional time. 

As part of the study, a geospatial database was rebuilt, and a bus ridership audit was conducted in September 2023 that revealed that 41 percent of students were using the bus, despite the current routing being designed for every student. Of the 127 PM routes, 86 percent were less than half full, based on a 72-person capacity. This marks the initial phase of the study, with ongoing data analysis and interpretation. 

Key takeaways from initial date include:  

  • Buses are not full.  

  • How buses move through the district and how stops are allocated to a bus can cause a major difference in routing outcomes.  

  • Routing for only students that are riding has an expected improvement in the number of buses needed. 

Dr. Pearson and Zach will continue their data analysis to further refine routing strategies and maximize efficiency for District #7’s transportation system.  

EHS Commons Bathroom Renovation 
Following feedback from the Board of Education and the community on the redesigned drafts presented during the February board meeting, an updated model was shared. The design of the newest updated model shows large openings into the lobby and the A wing, has a center corridor and two accessible stalls, while water fountains have been moved to outside of the space.  

Other key points regarding the restroom renovation:  

  • Each fully enclosed toilet room will have a dedicated lighting and ventilation system, with a locking mechanism indicating the room is vacant or occupied. Each restroom will also be equipped with feminine products dispensers and disposal containers. 

  • An additional restroom outside of the new corridor will be constructed to provide access for students who require adult assistance. 

  • District #7 and our design teams are evaluating additional safety measures that will be in place if an individual requires medical attention while in the toilet room. 

  • The overall space will be visible from the lobby as well as the ‘A’ Hallway which connects to the new Commons and will be supervised continuously during the times of highest usage (before school, lunch time, etc.).  

  • Additional restrooms are available in the ‘B’ Wing, ‘C’ Wing, and 2nd and 3rd floor, along with several single-use restrooms throughout the building. 

A final presentation of the project will be shared and voted on by the Board of Education on Monday, March 25.  

Success Academy 
Formerly known as EHS South and as the district’s alternative school, it was initially known as a location rather than a structured program, accommodating 50-plus students with various issues.  

In the 2018-2019 academic year, the school began its transition to Success Academy, aiming to address the social-emotional needs hindering students from effectively engaging in academics on the main campus. This involved the incorporation of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction. 

The current iteration of Success Academy has fewer than 30 students, providing access to counseling, tiered supports in SEL, academic and behavior as well as flexible scheduling, and problem-solving behaviors through Responsibility Centered Discipline (RCD). 

Looking ahead, there is a proposed plan for expansion with the establishment of four branches including: 

  • Anxiety, depression, and trauma 

  • Behavior modification programs  

  • Credit recovery – where identified students will have designated hours during the school day to work through coursework under the supervision of certified staff. The course recovery option allows students to complete assigned work or projects, earning the necessary points to pass the course with a D and receive credit. 

  • There are also plans for a future program expansion into remote learning. 

As initially presented earlier this school year, Success Academy is also planning to relocate to the area formerly utilized by the Edwardsville Art Center on the main campus. This move would enhance current student opportunities and allow those on the main campus to access the resources and offerings of Success Academy. 

Middle School Math Curriculum Recommendation  
The middle school math curriculum review team recommends a curriculum change to Amplify Desmos. Teachers on the review team visited Nipher Middle School in the Kirkwood (Mo.) School District and like that it is student-centered and designed to cultivate student thinking. Additionally, they like that Amplify Desmos offers higher levels of student engagement, utilizes inquiry-based learning that engages students in real-world problem solving, has an improved use of precise mathematic language and allows students to take more ownership of their learning.  

  Next Meeting:   
Monday, March 25 – Board of Education Regular Monthly Meeting (7 p.m. at Liberty Middle School)  

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