Danville students can retake this year’s courses

Board approves SB 128

The Danville Board of Education has voted to approve Senate Bill 128 which will allow students to retake this school year’s course work because of the pandemic. The action was taken despite all four of the district’s principals who voiced their concerns having students repeat this academic year instead of using intensive ‘intervention” teaching opportunities to get students caught up to where they should be, during last month’s board meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Tammy McDonald told the board that not as many students as they had anticipated requested to repeat this school year — 4 at Mary G. Hogsett Primary; 5 at Edna Toliver Intermediate; 8 at John W. Bate Middle School; and 17 at Danville High School (2 in ninth grade; 3 in 10th grade, 3 in 11th grade and 12 in 12th grade.)

Because there will be 12 seniors not graduating this year, it will cause the district’s graduation rate to drop, McDonald explained, but not drastically.

Board Chair Steve Becker told the board they needed to vote whether or not to accept SB 128 and let parents and students decide if they should repeat the school year.

The board voted in favor of SB 128 with Becker the only opposing vote.

In other business the board:

• Accepted $2,713,152 in federal ESSER II funds.

• Approved two memorandums of agreement  for Read to Achieve grant and Education Recovery Work.

• Approved a 1.5% raise for all contracted employees.

• Approved staffing report.

According to the Danville School District website, there are 12 openings for interventionists and 12 openings for instructional assistants.

McDonald said these positions will be hired using the ESSER money that the board had approved to accept. These employees “will work with small groups of kids (intervene) to help with learning loss. We don’t know the extent of gaps in learning. We are being proactive by having these supports in place,” she added.