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Crook County School Board meets at new Pioneer HS site

Variety of topics up for discussion

Crook County School District Board...

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The Crook County School Board meeting was held Monday evening at the new Pioneer Alternative High School building and a tour was just one discussion topic.

The school board discussed issues like the budget, construction updates, improvements on outcomes for English Language Learners and possible WiFi on school buses.

One presentation focused on why kids shouldn't sit still in class. 

"There was an article in the New York Times that cited some research on the tremendous benefits of having students get active," said Stacy Smith, the school district's director of curriculum and special programs. "They are hard-wired for movement, and it actually helps thinking. And so it's important for us educators to incorporate movement in our lessons."

Several Pioneer High School students gave a presentation on robot computer programming known as a "sphero." It's the first time the district has used this type of technology. 

"It was trying to engage them in something different and get them to be excited about something," said Michael Allen, the district's technology director. "But it also gives them some opportunities to say, 'Okay, if I do this basic coding, maybe I want to start learning how to do more programming.' And that maybe gives them career alternatives to think about for their future."

One of the newest developments is the opening of Pioneer High School's new building. Students moved into the old grade school building last week. The school offers students an alternative to the traditional high school setting. 

"For our Pioneer students, this is just an exciting time, because you're going from a three-room school house with no cafeteria, a shared bathroom space and no gymnasium," said Pioneer High School Principal Michelle Jonas, "to a facility where there are multiple classrooms, wide hallways, a cafeteria spot, a stage, a gym, a boys' and girls' restroom, a showering facility, a laundry facility -- all these things that the students have access to."

A trend the district continues to see across all grade levels is more digital curriculum. Superintendent Duane Yecha said while it's not possible in the near future, he hopes the district and Oregon will consider extending the school year for a better learning experience. 


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