More language help needed

Board to hear request for additional ESL aide

— The growing number of English Language Learners in the Steamboat Springs School District will prompt district officials to request funding for an additional English as a Second Language aide at tonight's School Board meeting.

As of Friday, the number of English Language Learners -- students whose primary language isn't English and who would benefit from special services -- had jumped to about 30. The district had only 12 English Language Learners when school ended last June.

The DAC also will recommend using first-release CSAP scores to determine district pay for performance bonuses instead of adjusting the scores to eliminate the test results of students who enrolled in the district after Oct. 1, 2002. The CSAP scores used by the state to determine School Accountability Reports, or school report cards, are adjusted to exclude students who enrolled in the district after Oct. 1.

Both recommendations are the result of questions raised about how pay-for-performance bonuses are determined.

In total, the district will award about $412,350 in pay-for-performance awards to teachers and support staff for the 2002-03 school year.

That figure is $12,350 more than what the district was gifted for pay for performance by the Education Fund Board last year.

The Fund Board's Educational Excellence Commission reportedly will make a request to the Fund Board to provide the district the extra $12,350 to cover all bonuses.

The School Board will vote tonight to accept that gift pending its approval by the Fund Board.

The Fund Board, however, cannot gift the money to the district until it approves the request from the Educational Excellence Commission, a process that could take two months to complete because of Fund Board bylaws.

The School Board will vote to accept the money tonight so that it can accept the gift immediately after Fund Board approval, School Board President Paul Fisher said.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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