The Colo-Nesco School Board began its meeting week by hearing from teachers Brian Ward, Kathy Bendixen, Lisa Riese on their trip to Eminence, Kentucky.
The teachers learned from Principal Buddy Berry and his staff, who began using contemporary technology along with changing teachers’ and students’ attitudes toward learning. Eventually the district’s voters approved a $6 million dollar upgrade to the district’s facilities from a five-cent sales tax. The Eminence School District is a rural district about 30 minutes east of Louisville, and enrollment has nearly doubled since Berry began making the major changes.
The teachers showed a short video produced by the school showing students using their movable walls, their ‘core’ — a space in the middle of the building that any class could use at any time — and even a newly designed library where students can check out everything from books to power tools for their maker labs or to work on their chosen projects. The district’s curriculum encourages teachers and students to think outside the box, using tactics like going through the dumpster to demonstrate archaeology.
Later, the Board learned that the district’s certified enrollment increased by 22 students as compared to last year. Conversely, students open enrolling out of the district continues to increase. A discussion broke out on what the district might do to promote what the Colo-Nesco district has done to improve their or what could be done to attract and keep students to the district, including promoting the preschool program for students beginning at three years old.
The Board also approved the Zearing elementary site for a temporary communications antenna for the Story County’s new StoryComm communications system.
The next meeting is planned for 6 p.m. on Nov. 18 in Colo. The change of time and site is due to the district’s winter concert that evening.