Farmers can nominate Cambridge schools for grants

Sandy Hull
Cambridge Elementary School

    Tom Akers, Cambridge superintendent of schools, hopes farmers nominate the district to receive “America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education” grants of up to $10,000 from Monsanto.

    To nominate a school for the program, a farmer needs to simply fill out a nomination form between Friday, Jan. 6, through Sunday, April 15. Monsanto seed dealers are not eligible to apply.

    The nomination forms are available at the unit office. Farmers can also apply online at

    “Last year the district received $500 from the program,” he said. “I am hoping we can do a little better this year.”

    He said there are plans to get growing lamps and microscopes with any money they get.

    In other business at the Thursday, Jan. 19, school board meeting, Akers said the Henry-Stark special education district now is fully staffed now, a good sign considering the short supply of people like speech pathologists.

    Akers also reviewed the new process for teacher evaluations. Seniority will be factored in after teachers are determined to be excellent, proficient, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. He also noted a large number of elementary school teacher are certified in a number of areas and could teach up to ninth grade.

    Shelly Logston, Cambridge Elementary School principal, gave her report.

    “We had a great Christmas break,” Logston said. “The kids were excited to get back to school and our enrollment stayed pretty consistent although we lost five students, we also gained eight. We currently have 328 students and are expecting a couple more any day.”

    Logston said Julie Carlson, head cook, has been able to start the salad bar again twice a week.

    “The students really love it,” she said. “Julie didn’t do it during the first semester because of funding issues.”

    Logston said Bright Beginnings is up and running. Approximately 40 families are taking advantage of the program with some families opting to stay home for cold and flu season.

    “We have gained several new families however, and welcome them,” she said. “We are also very happy to see grandparents  bringing in their grandchildren.”

    Logston said on Friday, Jan. 18, a representative from the state spent the day in the prekindergarten room. She look at the program, the students, the paperwork and facilities.

    “Every year, random schools are chosen for a site visit and this was our lucky year,” Logston said. “We will be expecting the results within the next 30 days.”

    Cambridge Elementary School students will be selling Fannie May candy as a fundraiser for Cambridge Parents Club (CPC).

    “This is a great fundraiser for CPC and all students benefit from the money raised,” Logston said. “A representative will be here for the kickoff and will be offering some fun incentives to our kids as well.”

    Logston announced several upcoming activities.

    Friday, Jan. 27, will be the 100th day of school if no snow days are used. Teachers have a large range of activities planned for the day.

    School will be dismissed early Friday, Feb. 3, for a teacher’s institute. Rhonda Crandall from the Reading Street series will be on hand to answer questions.

    The sixth, seventh and eighth grade spelling bee will be held Friday, Feb. 10.

    Jump Rope for Heart Week will be held Monday, Feb. 13, through Friday, Feb. 17.

    Thursday, March 1, will be Reading Night at the Cambridge Elementary School. The evening will feature several guest readers and reading related activities.

    “Read to Succeed” Day is Friday, March 2. It is also Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

    “We will be working in conjunction with schools across the nation to break the record  for most Accelerated Reader tests taken,” Logston said.

    Monday, March 5, through Friday, March 9 is ISAT testing week according to Logston. Monday, March 12, through Friday, March 16, will be the make up week at the grade school.

    Robert Reagan, Cambridge Jr./Sr. School principal, talked about upcoming activities at his schools.

    He said Lisa Miller and Annie Woods are registering students for next year.

    “We decided to get an early start, to work out the kinks in the new math everything schedule,” he said. “There were few minor issues, but Miller has adjusted the schedule and it’s working out fine. A special thanks to Miller for the extra time and energy in putting together the new schedule.”

    Reagan said the ninth graders took the Explore Test today. The Explore Test is offered by ACT and tells a student what they need to know to plan for their high school courses, prepare for ACT or choose a career direction.

    Sophomores took the Plan Test. It helps build a solid foundation for future academic and career success. It is a comprehensive guidance resource which helps students measure their current academic development, explore career/training options and make plans for the remaining years of high school and post-graduation years. It helps students who are college-bound as well as those who are likely to enter the work force directly after high school.

    Reagan announced that Bri Swanson and Allison Meyer were recognized as Students of the Quarter by the Cambridge Rotary Club.

    “The LTC Speech Contest was held tonight at the high school,” Reagan said. “They were just finishing up the awards ceremony. A special thanks to Sunny Letterle and Kelly Akers for all their work in putting the event together.”