Five sixth grade students listened attentively while Sagle Elementary School Principal Kathy Berget told the LPOSD Board of Trustees that they were representing children participating in Math Club.
“They meet twice a week before school,” she said. “The goal is to enrich their math skills beyond the sixth grade.” The club is mostly attended by fifth and sixth graders with a few fourth graders thrown in. Most the students at the Trustee meeting had participated the year before.
“In about a month we’ll go to the middle school to compete,” student Jeremiah Palmer said. “Then we go to Washington (state) to compete against a whole bunch of teams.”
Berget explained that each team is made up of two to four students. Weighted points are given for each problem the students have to solve as well as a grade for meeting a standard of difficulty.
Students Gretta Beck, Hazel Pierce, Ian Lamanna and Coen Smith all sited the team work as their favorite aspects of being part of the club. They added that problem solving and collaborating with each other prepares them for the competition.
Trustee Gary Suppiger said, “These kids get up early, come in when it’s dark and cold to do math. I have great respect for them.”
“And, they have fun,” Berget added.
“We should thank all the parents for letting their kids get involved,” Trustee Purley Decker said before the students were awarded certificates and had the picture taken.
Berget continued her presentation informing Trustees about the school’s STEM program and how they’ve constructed items such as spinners, lava lamps, different ways to make airplanes and circuits. The students had to make a structure out of index cards with a roof that could hold the weight of the teacher’s cellphone. And, they made catapults out of marshmallows.
“All the while teachers are pushing students in their learning,” she said.
The second presentation of the evening was given by Career and Technical Education coordinator Alex Gray. He talked about the individual courses, showed testimonials from students and credited the involvement of some in the business community who make this program successful.
All high school students can elect to take one or more classes that focus on an industry or skill. At the end of the course they’re given a skills assessment.
“All CTE participants who’ve taken two or more classes during their high school career have to take a work place readiness assessment,” Gray said.
He reported that the community’s schools have a 97 percent pass rate on this test. “That’s one of the highest in the state.”
“Alex is too humble to credit himself,” Superintendent Tom Albertson said about the success of this program.
“Things are changing in the world. We need to listen to the community to prepare our kids for jobs out there. Kudos to LPOSD for not dropping CTE during the economic downturn, and for the commitment to maintain and see value from this program.”