30 years ago

• How many hours is 2,600 hours?:

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How many hours is 2,600 hours?

That is the question being raised recently by people concerned about the amount of time the public schools will be using the Perham Area Community Center once it is up and running, since the school contracted to use the center 2,600 hours annually.

People think there is no time left for the public," said Board Chairman Fred Huebsch last week. "They see those 2,600 hours and they figure there's no time left for them."

But if you look a little more closely at the school's usage, you'll see their usage represents only 16.7 percent of the total number of hours the center will be available, Huebsch and Sherman Mundt explained last week.

The center will operate from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m. Saturdays and from noon till 10 p.m. Sunday. Thus, they will be open a total of 5,460 hours each year.

But there are six different areas available at the center: 1) pool, 2) gymnasium 3) racquetball 4) wrestling 5) weightlifting 6) aerobics.

That turns the 5,460 of operation into 32,760 functional hours available during the course of a year.

The contract with the school states that they are charged for each hour they use each of the areas of the center.

Of course, the school's usage is concentrated during the nine months of the school year, which means their percentage of utilization will be higher during school time and lower during the summer.


PHS seniors outpace national figures on ACT testing:

Perham High School seniors who take the ACT college aptitude test have consistently outpaced the national average for ACT.

This is shown by looking at the past five years of testing in which PHS students taking the test have scored at 114 percent, 106 percent, 114 percent, 102 percent and 111 percent of the national average.

About 40 percent of the PHS students take the test in any given year, explained Principal Dennis Drummond. The test is designed as a college entrance test, and either it, or the similar SAT test is required of all college students.

Students are tested in four areas, English, math, social studies and natural sciences, with their four score then combined into a composite average.

Generally, the students have test above the national average in the individual testing areas, which some high than others.

Drummond is hesitant about comparing the local figures with the national ones to determine which programs at PHS are either better or worse than others.

"The ACT is only intended as a comparison with students across the nation and generally our students compare favorably," Drummond said.


Perham Enterprise-Bulletin September 15, 1988

5 years ago

• iPads: One year later

For the second time, all high school students, freshmen through seniors, have been entrusted with their own iPads for the year.

"We think it's fantastic," said Sandra Wieser-Matthews, one of two technology integrationists at the high school. "We love the fact that students have one-to-one iPad technology in their hands."

Teachers seem to enjoy having the technology, as well.

"It's the first time I've ever heard teachers say they've gotten something out of staff development," said Jeff Morris, the second integrationist.

"Probably the biggest surprise of the technology initiative has been the 'eagerness' of staff to continue to move ahead with it," wrote Superintendent Mitch Anderson in an email to the Focus. "I feared that many teachers would resist such an extreme change in the way we provide instruction to students. I'm amazed at how 'hungry' staff members have become for more."

The initiative kicked off at the start of last school year, thanks to funds from a voter-approved levy.

This year, the iEngage goal is to encourage students to take part in creating their own learning experiences and collaborate with their teachers.

"In my class last week, I had the kids come up with their own math problem for something we were doing in calculus," said Morris. "Then, they had to create a video for it, right on the iPad, then upload it to Moodle."

"There, they were able to view each other's videos and talk about them," he continued. "Then, I told them that

out of the 40 videos we made, I was going to pick 10 of the problems to make a test. They not only created their own problem, their own video ... they eventually created their own test."

How did the class do?

"Really well," said Morris. "Only one person made below 70 (percent)."

Math teacher Alyssa Rosenow also appreciates the opportunity created by iEngage. She uses the Educreations app in her classroom.

"It lets students see their words along with the writing," explained Rosenow. "That gets the kids to step up to a whole new level of thinking by using another medium. They can be creative with it."

Students expressed a mixture of thoughts about the iPads.

Generally, they liked how easy it is to access their homework. As long as they have their iPad, they said, worksheets and assignments won't get lost. The days of heavy textbooks weighing down backpacks are also gone.

Other positive thoughts included convenience, the use of less paper and buying fewer school supplies.

However, students were also aware of the problems which come along with technology. There are occasional glitches, and some said they get headaches from looking at the screen for too long.

One of Morris's AP calculus students, Jackie Hanson, admitted that, "I get distracted" by the iPad, making it hard to study.


• Two car vs. cow crashes reported

Pickup trucks collided with cows in two separate incidents in Otter Tail County over the weekend.

One accident took place on Highway 32 near Richville at 9:09 p.m. on Friday. There was severe damage to a pickup driven by Jamie Curtis Hofmann of Vergas. The owner of the cow was notified after the accident took place.

Another pickup struck a cow at 7:49 a.m. on Saturday, at Curve Road northeast of New York Mills. There was front-end damage to the pickup.

Details about the condition of the cows was not yet available on Monday.


Thursday, September 19, 2013 Perham Focus