STEUBENVILLE - Two teachers in the Steubenville schools' gifted education program provided a detailed report on the expansion of the program this year, noting a new and larger classroom is now in use.
"The room is so much larger than we were used to in the past. It is wonderful. When you do enrichment programs, you want the pupils to do different projects. Our new room allows for that ability," Kathy Pavlik, director of the program, told school board members Wednesday.
"Our first theme this year is the Olympics, and the kids are really enjoying their work on this topic," added Martha Bell, a veteran teacher in the program.
"At this point we have 20 laptops and four iPads for the kids. The students have no fear of the new technology. We use different games as part of the instruction process because it helps the kids to learn," said Pavlik.
"Following the Olympics we will be working on the election. And we also have independent studies that allow the kids to choose topics they are interested in," Pavlik said.
"As part of our program goals we encourage the kids to be self-starters. We want them to develop creativity, art, drama, writing and problem solving. We also want them to develop a love of learning and to broaden their knowledge base," continued Pavlik.
She said the gifted education program includes pupils from kindergarten through the fourth grade.
"We are also changing our testing process to bring more kids into the program," Pavlik told the school board members.
Bell thanked the school administration and board members "for the new gifted center and reaffirming your commitment to quality education in the city school system."
In other business during Wednesday's meeting, the board:
Approved several personnel recommendations offered by Superintendent Mike McVey, including the employment of Octavia Lover, Mario Costantini and Joseph Banovsky as paraprofessionals for the 2012-13 school year. Costantini also received a supplemental football coaching contract for the school year, and Angelita Forte received a supplemental contract as the assistant girls basketball and track coach.
Approved a substitute teachers list that includes Johnathan Durand, Margaret Haynes, Francis Piverotto and Toni Voltz.
Hired Dominic DiCarlo and Alexander Nagy as lifeguards for the Steubenville High School natatorium.
Approved the hiring of Danesha Clark, Jaytez Johnson, Mariah Nixon, Dustin Odgen, Nikki Skeens and Lashuna Wilson for the Big Red Works program.
Hired Brian D'Aurora and Trevor Reed to provide technology assistance for the school year.
Approved Tonya Jones and William Walters as homebound instructors for the school year.
Agreed to a $5,000 contract with the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center for a Distance Learning program. McVey said the Distance Learning program will provide virtual field trips for the gifted program pupils.
Approved McVey's recommended contract with Scholastic Sports Marketing for the annual McDonald's OVAC Kickoff weekend.