Hillsboro schools trying new approaches

Staff writer

Hillsboro Elementary School students could be using agriculture as a learning tool sooner rather than later.

Principal Evan Yoder introduced plans at the USD 410 Board of Education meeting Monday to use livestock as part of an outer-classroom experience similar to that of a rural charter school in Walton.

“Animals have a way of changing the perspective of a child,” he said. “They’ll get to see in real life, if a goat eats so much a day, how much will 30 goats eat?”

Donors have expressed a desire to help build a shed, and there will be discussions with the city about livestock.

Yoder said students are already working with gardening at the school, and teachers are excited about expanding the program.

In addition, Yoder discussed plans to begin a new foreign language tutorial and fundraising for a new playground.

Hillsboro Middle School Principal Greg Brown spoke about goals this year for the school and seventh and eighth grade classes will have “team teaching,” where science and math, and social studies and language arts teachers will teach classes together.

“Students have a way of compartmentalizing what they learn,” Brown said. “They’ll hear a term in one class, but not apply it when they hear the same term in another.”

Principal Max Heinrichs said the high school is at an all-time low for special needs students, giving credit to the elementary and middle schools for the achievement.

The board also:

  • Met in closed session for 37 minutes to discuss personnel.
  • Approved work agreements for mechanic John McMinn, bus driver Tanner Lacy, and Tim Isaac for his work with multi-community diversified services.
  • Granted the resignation of mechanic Mike Woelk, as well as a supplemental contract for Robert Haude to become the assistant coach of the high school boys’ basketball team.
  • Voted to allow TSA, robotics class, FFA, choir, and FCCLA to go on trips out-of-state.
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