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School Board considers adding 2 teachers for STEM

The Glencoe-Silver Lake school board continued its discussion on implementing a kindergarten through 12th-grade science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program.
The school would implement the Project Lead the Way STEM program, which is already used at the junior high and high school level, into elementary education as well. While the junior high and high school program is set up as classes using the Project Lead the Way’s Gateway program, the elementary STEM program will follow modules as part of the Launch program.
Principals Joy Freitag and Bill Butler are requesting the addition of two full-time teachers to be lead teachers of the program.
Board Member Kevin Kuester asked if the teachers will be working one on one with students or will just be training teachers. Freitag said they would be doing both. The lead teachers would serve as co-teachers to help the classroom teachers learn and implement the program with their students.
Kuester also asked what technology will be required with the program. Sander said the district will be replacing a high school computer lab and moving the older computers to the junior high. The district will also purchase a laptop cart to be used in classrooms with the program.
High school teacher Michael Sunblad said the high school receives several grants to cover the technology cost of the program, and the district has applied for grants at the elementary level now as well. Board Member Donna VonBerge asked how long the grants would cover the costs. Sunblad explained they are two years typically, but Freitag said the cost is less after the program is implemented.
“The initial cost of the program is by far the greatest,” Freitag said.

For more, see the April 13 print edition of The Chronicle.