The Washington Times-Herald

January 18, 2013

Local schools ask for ISTEP waiver

Not enough computers at elementary, says administrators

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Washington Schools are asking for a waiver to opt out of the online portion of the ISTEP test coming in April.

During Thursday’s Washington School Board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Paul White said the school has asked for the waiver due to a lack of computers at the elementary schools. White told the board the state is probably not going to allow the waiver.

“The communications we’ve received so far is we will have to do the online test and we put together a plan,” White said.

In March, students in the elementary and high schools will take the first portions of the state-mandated exam with pencil and paper and the online multiple-choice portion in April. White said he and the corporation’s Information Technology staff are working for plans for all elementary students to take the online portion of the ISTEP.

“It will be very difficult,” White said. “There are a lot of complications, lot of special thins to make it work.”

White said there will be no trouble in the junior and senior high school, as the schools have enough computers. The problem, he said, will be at the elementary schools. Superintendent Daniel Roach said a snow day, if  students are off, may have to be moved to accommodate the ISTEP tesing on May 3. A determination will be made at the board’s February meeting.

Griffith changes

White told the board during his curriculum report he is taking Griffith Principal Richard Lloyd and other teachers to Southport Elementary School today to observe the school’s programs and how they might work at Griffith.

Last month, Lena Dunn Elementary adopted several programs being used at the school, including 90-minute reading blocks. White said the transition has gone well and a lot more students are getting direct instruction.

Lena Dunn library

Roach said an opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on Feb. 4 for the renovated library at Lena Dunn elementary. He said the library has started to look like its final form with the carpet installed Thursday. Shelving and desks and furniture are waiting to be installed for the ceremony.

Tom Emmons, the main benefactor of the library, will be in attendance for the ceremony.

“The students are very excited about the progress and it is very fun to watch,” Roach said.

Surplus material

Want a backboard a Zeller may have used? How about a large milk machine? Or maybe a parking lot vacuum?

The board named these items along with several unused items surplus property and intend to either sell or dispose of the items.

For more information, contact the school office.


The board appointed Eric Gilley as eighth grade boys basketball assistant coach and Jeff Lemon as assistant softball coach.