School library issues among several items discussed by PCSD board

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Perry Schools Director of Teaching and Learning Kevin Vidergar is joined by District Librarian Cathy Petersen (left) and third grade teacher Jessica Harstad (middle) at the June meeting of the PCSD Board of Education.

A busy slate at the June meeting of the Perry Community School District Board of Education included a report on making improvements to the school libraries in several areas of need.

The Perry school libraries were recently found to be in non-compliance in a wide range of areas, including ensuring the facilities:

  • improve their collections and that such collections include a current and diverse range of fiction and non-fiction in a variety of formats,
  • have increased connections with parents and the community,
  • are part of a district-wide plan to update and replace materials, supports and equipment,
  • create an engaging, collaborative space with diverse resources and opportunities for inquiries, creating and problem solving and a series of policy and directional issues.

Director of Teaching and Learning Kevin Vidergar was joined by District Librarian Cathy Petersen and third grade teacher Jessica Harstad in explaining their planned approach to address the many issues raised.

A detailed plan was presented to the board, with Vidergar noting that libraries needed to be more than a place where a lot of books were stored.

“With new technology and methods of learning, the libraries need to be more of a multi-media space where students are encouraged to explore and learn,” he said. “We have a district library team that will meet on a regular basis. Their job will be to review what is needed and to see to it that areas that need updating are addressed. We are confident we can make the improvements in all these areas.”

The board addressed several areas of district policy, approving updates and revisions to several areas, including the Anti-Bullying/Harassment directives.

Also approved was an agreement with 21st Century Rehab, P.C. for sports medicine services for the 2016-17 school year. At an annual cost of $6,500 the district is provided athletic trainer coverage at all home and away varsity sports contests and provides for coverage one or two nights per week at practices for injury evaluation and consultation with coaches.

Participation in the School Administrators of Iowa Mentoring and Induction Program was also approved, as were a series of personnel resignations, hires, transfers and employment modifications.

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