Districts Look to Kirkwood School for Lessons in Teaching
Tillman Elementary principal says her school has gained a reputation as a teaching school.
The Kirkwood School District's Board of Education learned about the success of one of its elementary schools, awarded a roofing bid for Kirkwood High School and approved a new math curriculum at its meeting Tuesday evening.
Tillman Elementary Progress Report
Dr. Chris Raeker, principal of Tillman Elementary School, presented a PowerPoint about her school’s annual progress to the Kirkwood School District Board of Education.
“We believe all kids are capable of higher level thinking," Raeker said. "We’re not just looking at what makes kids good at their MAP tests, but what makes them better human beings."
Tillman's teachers are encouraged to think creatively, according to Raeker, who said that the school has gained a reputation as a place where other districts can send teachers to learn.
“We have talents to share with the broader educational community," Raeker said. "You always learn more when you’re teaching it to others. We’re seeing that come to fruition, and it’s a good feeling."
In the past year, several districts, such as Parkway and Alton, have sent faculty to observe Tillman teachers at work, according to Raeker.
The Board awarded a bid to Lorenz Roofing for updating several sections of the roof on Kirkwood High School, including the section above the library and kitchen area.
Ten roofing companies turned in bids for the job, but only seven met all of the school’s requirements. Lorenz Roofing presented the lowest bid at $257,068. Funding for the project will come from the 2011-12 Dedicated Maintenance Fund.
The project was awarded to the company based on “good quality work” done in 2010 for the district, according to Jim Wall, Director of Building Grounds Services for the Kirkwood School District.
Calculus Curriculum Revised
The Board approved a revised curriculum for high school pre-calculus and calculus courses. Steve Jonak, chair of the math department at Kirkwood High School, said revisions were minor and primarily were implemented to bring Kirkwood’s math classes in line with standards used by the University of Missouri-Saint Louis.
“In the courses themselves, there are no huge changes,” Jonak said. He added that what is taught in higher level math courses is determined by what students will need to be prepared for college level work.
“We work backwards from calculus classes," Jonak said. "We talk to pre-calculus teachers and tell them what we need (to prepare students for calculus).”
About one third of Kirkwood’s seniors take calculus, and 99 percent of them pass the class, according to Jonak.
Superintendent Meets with Oakland City Council
Dr. Thomas Williams, superintendent for the Kirkwood School District, reported to the Board that he recently met with the Oakland City Council, and that councilors from the neighboring city expressed interest in the district’s new VISTA alternative school, which is located within Oakland city limits. VISTA is a small non-traditional school where troubled middle and high school students are given individual attention.
“There’s a little more traffic," Williams said. "Now, more students are coming and going."