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The Bettendorf School Board on Monday approved Legat Architects for the project at Mark Twain Elementary School, 1620 Lincoln Road.

Jerod Engler, vice president of construction for Bush Construction, construction manager for the project, supported Legat, and has met with the firm’s representatives. He said the firm can minimize pre-construction time, that staff is familiar with the school district and that the fee percentage — 5.8 percent of the cost of the work — is competitive.

The board voted unanimously to hire Legat, which also is working on the new Grant Wood Elementary School in central Bettendorf.

The board heard a report about curriculum from those who attended a curriculum conference in Boston. Among the speakers was Marty Beck, who works in curriculum and professional development  for the district.

She talked about the traditional grading process and how it can create inequity for some students. “Lots of times, we don’t think about how grades can bring some students down,” she said. For example, taking points off for late work could unfairly affect students who are working to help support their families, she said.

She discussed how assessment and feedback that students need to understand what they need to learn. “It’s really important to design a system that works well for students,” she said.

“Taking off points for late work — that’s not real life,” Beck said. She said in real life, workers can approach a boss and ask whether they can have the weekend to finish a project. “Life hands everybody circumstances (beyond their control). Our students are no different than the rest of us,” she said.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved a base bid from Jim Giese Commercial Roofing for $219,375 for roof improvements at Bettendorf Middle School and Hoover Elementary School, with July 27 as an estimated date of completion. The work at the two is considered as a single project — $161,945 for the middle school and $57,430 for Hoover.
  • Discussed a regular assessment that provides a “screen shot” of how students are progressing by grade levels and subjects, including reading and math. The board will discuss the assessment in greater detail in May.

Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Broadcast Film Critics Association member. College instructor for criminal justice, English and math. Serves on Safer Foundation and The Salvation Army advisory boards. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church