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Chief Academic Officer Larry Cavanah addresses the Dawson Springs Board of Education at its meeting last month as Spencer Spratt listens.

In a report delivered to the Dawson Springs Board of Education on Monday night, Chief Academic Officer Larry Cavanah explained the possibility of a waiver in regards to achievement testing this spring.

“Right now, it doesn’t look like we are going to request a waiver from assessment, but we are going to request waivers from accountability,” said Cavanah. “What we’re saying is, we may very well be sticking a test in front of our students that’s not going to count for anything.

“I have been engaged in a number of conversations with instructional leaders in western Kentucky,” Cavanah said. “A great deal of these discussions have focused on the subjects of extended school services, promotion and retention, how to reach the hard-to-reach in virtual learning settings, and what to do with the skill-deficient student next year. We’re going to have to meet some needs.”

While Cavanah focused on the possibility of extended school services, Superintendent Leonard Whalen concentrated on summer school.

“Summer session is most likely going to be needed,” Whalen said. “We are working on potential options on how this may look. It’ll probably be three to four weeks. We did have about 18 staff members say that they would be willing to teach summer school if we needed to have it.”

Based upon community response, Whalen nixed the idea of conducting school during spring break in April in order to finish school a week earlier in May, like in the 2019-20 school session.

“In the discussions that I’ve had — in some of the feedback that I’ve gotten — that spring break may be welcomed for some folks to kind of recharge for a couple days,” Whalen said. “We’ll go ahead and have spring break kind of as we have it planned.”

At the end of her report, Dawson Elementary Principal Jennifer Ward made a request for a common household item needed to complete a hands-on activity in the preschool classes.

“If you all remember — it might have been a couple of years ago — Ms. Kammie created an igloo with her preschoolers made out of milk jugs,” said Ward. “This time, she’s going to create the igloo again, but she’s going to try to do that out of egg cartons. If anyone would like to start collecting egg cartons and donate those to Ms. Kammie and the preschool, that would be greatly appreciated.”

“Does she have a preference as far as plastic or cardboard egg cartons?” asked board member Carol Niswonger.

“At this time, we’re going to take all of the egg cartons we can get,” said Ward.

Principal Todd Marshall’s report of the Jr./Sr. High School closely mirrored the reports by Whalen and Cavanah in terms of providing extra help for the students who need it most.

“There’s a possibility that we might offer a summer school,” Marshall said. “We may do some morning and afternoon tutorings. Of course, we still offer one-on-one help on Wednesdays when students are supposed to be virtual. If they need help, they contact teachers or the front office and we make arrangements for that teacher to meet with that student during those days.”

In other news, the Board accepted the lone bid from Cunningham Lawn Care, LLC, for a complete weekly mow/trim on an as needed basis at $260 a week.

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