Opportunities open up for Crossroads



October 14, 2014 - 12:00 AM

It has been a year since Crossroads Learning Center packed up and headed down the road to Iola. Crossroads Director Tim Seibel updated USD 257 Board of Education members Monday night on the program’s transition to the old school board office on North Cottonwood.
There are currently 26 students in the program. Seibel said students come to Crossroads for a variety of reasons. Many students have family or social issues at home. Some are super motivated and want to finish school quicker. Others are not interested in the typical high school scene.
“These students don’t come to us due to lack of intelligence,” he said. “It’s for other situations.”
Seibel said the first couple of weeks at the new building took some adjustment. At the old building in Gas there were four instructors and now there are only two. The building isn’t as large, but they manage.
Seibel said out of the 26 students in the program 11 have jobs. A few students went with Seibel and high school principal Stacey Fager to Precision Pump recently to view the facility and discuss the possibility of an intern program.
“I heard good responses from the students,” Seibel said. “I think the biggest hurdle would be for the students to understand the benefits of the internship when so many of them have jobs.” The internships would not be a paid position.
Board member Mark Burris owns Precision and is optimistic of the possibilities of an internship for the students.
“We were pleasantly surprised after their visit,” Burris said. “They were fabulous and genuinely interested and asked great questions.”

DEANN HAUSER from Parents as Teachers explained the program.
Parents as Teachers is a program designed to provide practical and timely information to parents of young children. It is connected with Greenbush in Girard. Hauser said the early years of a child’s life are critical for development.
“A parent is like a sports announcer,” Hauser said. “They need to tell the child what they are doing, where they are going and why.”
The program components include a variety of areas. Personal visits include a parent educator sharing age-appropriate child development information and engaging in family activities. Screenings for health, vision and hearing is provided for early identification of developmental delays and health problems.
“We try to encourage parents to implement nutritional education by going to the farmers market,” Hauser said.

THE NUMBER of students in the district is down 21 from last year and down 31 from what the district had budgeted for.
Superintendent of schools Jack Koehn said the big surprise was the 30 students they were down at Lincoln Elementary.
“We will have to cut $127,000 from our published budget,” Koehn told board members.
What does this mean?
“We can’t do the extra stuff,” he said. “For example we won’t be able to update our library software.”

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