At its May 13 meeting, the Milford Public Schools Board of Education:
• heard a presentation by Garrett Reitz, a participant in the CRAVE program at Southeast Community College, and Nichole Wetjen, CRAVE instructor.
CRAVE stands for Career Readiness And Vocational Education, a transitional program for young adults to help them move from high school into college or the workforce.
Reitz received his certificate for completing a year at CRAVE last week. During the program, he took four SCC classes, helped take care of the grounds and learned life skills like how to balance a checkbook. Reitz shared his future goals, which include joining a fire department.
• heard from Director of Learning Dr. Mitch Kubicek that all state testing is completed for students in grades 3-8 and 11. Results will be released to schools in the fall.
Kubicek also gave a report on PreACT and ACT scores. Overall, the Milford PreACT scores increased from the ninth grade to the 10th grade, with 70-90 percent of students scoring above the 50th percentile in both grades in all areas (math, science, English and reading).
Kubicek said the PreACT is a shorter test than the ACT, and students often do not spend much organized time preparing.
“That’s really unbelievable,” Kubicek said. “Those are really solid scores.”
On the ACT, four juniors scored 30 or higher, five students scored 27-29, and four students scored 24-26, with the rest under that mark. The top score possible is a 36.
“Some very strong results there, too,” Kubicek said.
On the writing portion, 89% of students scored a six or higher, with the top score possible being a 12. One student earned an 11. Students have 40 minutes to read a prompt, plan their response and write a final draft.
Juniors have the option to take an ACT prep course in person, and students in all three grades have access to test prep materials online.
• saw a demonstration of the school’s new security camera system, which cost $106,000.
“We did some major updates,” Superintendent Kevin Wingard said. “It’s obvious how much clearer these pictures are.”
High School Principal Brandon Mowinkel showed board members views of the different cameras and the tools available within the system.
The old systems were housed in a storeroom, and wires had to be switched from one television to another in order to view different footage. Clips were not easy to download, and the picture wasn’t clear enough to easily identify a person.
Now, staff can view the footage from their computers. They can see what’s happening at the high school and elementary school from either location.
“We have less cameras, but way better coverage,” Mowinkel said. “It makes it really easy to track what’s going on.”
The cameras are motion-activated and only record when there’s motion, so administrators don’t have to sift through hours of footage to find what they’re looking for.
• heard an update on the elementary construction project, which Wingard said is behind schedule because of recent rainy weather.
The district also is working on a renovation project for junior high science labs, the ag room, classroom and work space at the high school.
Wingard said the project is being made possible by a roughly $1.7 million grant donation. He said details are still being worked out before plans are finalized, but he expects the project to be completed before the start of the next school year this fall.
• approved a new science curriculum for students in kindergarten through fourth grades, sixth and seventh grades. Kubicek said the current curriculum was purchased in 2011 with a seven-year subscription.
The estimated cost for the new materials, which will be aligned to new state science standards, is around $32,000.
• approved the proposed 2019-2020 calendar.