Cambridge schools learn if geothermal system saving money

Mary Davidsaver

    During the Thursday, Feb. 17, meeting of the Cambridge School Board, several members mentioned they have been fielding questions about what the actual savings have been for the new geothermal system at the high school.

    Superintendant Tom Akers said that he would get back to them with more information. On the following day, he reported that he compared the combined electric, gas and water bills for both buildings from July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, until now with those of the previous year for the same time period. The total savings was $11,110.00.

    When asked, he said it was fair to say that this winter was "colder and snowier" than last year. He did not indicate what other variables needed to be considered in making a comparison.

    Akers reported at the meeting that he is looking to house a special education class in Cambridge. Currently, three students are being bused to Geneseo. Galva may send students here as well; the busing would be at no cost to the Cambridge district.

    The superintendent is also engaged in a series of meetings with the goal of obtaining lower insurance rates.

    Seventh grader Tristan Akers attended the meeting and was introduced as the first place winner of the recent spelling bee. Wade Schnowske came in second, with Garron Bowers and Dalton Freburg tied for third place. Eleven students went nine rounds before finding the top spellers. There will be no county winner this year; the next stop is the regional competition at Augustana College.

    High school principal Robert Reagan is working to implement a Core Curriculum Standards base to better prepare students for college and the workplace. The new standards provide clear learning benchmarks for students and parents and replace the Illinois State Standards that date from 1997. The Common Core State Standards were adopted by Illinois on June 24, 2010.

    Many teachers are using the Global Compliance Network for training tutorials. The computer based programs are a convenient and less expensive way to remain certified.

    Illinois achievement testing in the elementary school will begin a week later than planned because of the snow storm. Elementary principal Shelly Logston has several activities planned in an effort to engage students and reach the goal of improving scores by 10 percent.

    Staff members from Abilities Plus will help out during the upcoming preschool screening by working with the younger children.

    FFA week activities include "drive your tractor or lawn mower to school" on Friday, Feb. 25.