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Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Linguistics class project gets approval

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

SIKESTON - In a continuing effort to help older

students having trouble with speech and language, the

Sikeston Board of Education approved a linguistics

class as part of vocational resource education.

Andy Comstock of the Sikeston Career and Technology

Center, explained the idea came from a faculty meeting

at the beginning of the year when teachers were trying

to identify ways of improving academic testing. The

staff agreed that student reading skills were a major

concern.

He described the proposal as a two-pronged approach.

"We've been attending the Readership Academy and we've

been learning reading skills strategies that we're

going to use along with our district-wide goals of

increasing reading skills at all levels. We feel that

having remediation with our step one students and

implementing reading strategies throughout the

curriculum will also help those students score better

on the ACT and hopefully be life-long learners," said

Comstock.

"We would identify those step one students at the

eighth grade level," added Laura Hendley, director of

the SCTC. "Looking at what some of their scores are,

we would also be talking to some of their teachers for

them to make recommendations of students who might

possibly be having some reading difficulties."

With parental approval, the student's approval and

individualized counseling, the student would be placed

in a class to help them increase their reading skills,

she said. Students also would be tested before and

after being placed in the class to determine if any

improvement can be seen throughout the semester.

"And we would ask that you approve credit for this

class, credit for them to possibly make up an English

credit if they are currently failing first semester or

if they've already failed at the ninth grade level

with their English classes or that they be allowed to

use this as an elective credit toward graduation," she

said to the board members.

The second half of the program would be to help

students who were already juniors and seniors in

vocational programs with difficulties they may have.

"As amazing as is may sound, there are hardly any of

the vocational programs that lend themselves to

success for an individual who is a poor reader or that

can't read," noted Hendley. "In auto mechanics, in

today's society, if you can't utilize the computer and

you can't read probably at a 10th or an 11-grade-level

you're not going to be successful because you can't

read the highly technical books and manuals for each

of the different automobiles.

"So, we hope to do a similar program with students in

the vocational area and bring them in in small groups

for 30-45 minutes possibly once a week to try to help

them improve their reading skills. We've talked with

individuals who've participated in similar programs

and sometimes it's amazing the amount of progress

students can make in a short amount of time with some

diligent instruction."

The board also approved a resolution to relocate

Sikeston Public Schools' nursing program from the

former Sikeston Area Higher Education Center on South

Kingshighway to the grounds of Missouri Delta Medical

Center.

"The hospital is building a dialysis center on their

grounds and as result of a long-term relationship with

them they have made available to us a portion of the

second floor," said Steve Borgsmiller, superintendent

of schools. "This would give us an opportunity, if the

board would approve the resolution, to enter into a

long-term lease with the hospital. Also part of this

would be the school board taking a shell of the

structure, which must be approved by the State Nursing

Program as well.

"I've been in touch with Charlie Ancel and if there

was ever a win-win situation for our program and also

for the hospital, this would be an opportunity to

further that relationship for a long long time."