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Ludlow Superintendent Scores High Marks in Annual Evaluation

The Ludlow board of education rated Superintendent Michael Borchers highly in his annual evaluation.

Borchers scored marks of "exemplary", the highest available, in all seven categories of leadership: strategic, instructional, cultural, human resources, managerial, collaborative, and influential.

"We were extremely fortunate to have Mr. Borchers lead our district through the pandemic, while providing our students strong educational programs that met the needs of our students at school and in the community," said board president Cindy Powell. "Mr. Borchers has developed into an influential leader not only in our district, but at the regional and state levels. He has continually worked to add new programs in the district while ensuring that we have a fiscally sound district.

"Mr. Borchers and the board of education will collaboratively work each year to enhance the educational opportunities offered to the children of the Ludlow Independent Schools."

In other business, rules for the new school year were explored.

Borchers said that the new schedule for the upcoming school year will be more similar to the ones pre-pandemic and all students are expected to attend in-person.

Face masks will be optional for staff and students, he said, but noted that that could change as COVID-19 cases rise in the region and around the world.

He said that the district may offer a vaccine clinic for anyone aged 12 or older.

If a person is fully vaccinated, defined as two weeks after receiving a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after one dose of Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, there would be no quarantine period should that person be exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Instead of the annual back-to-school Pantherfest, the district will host what it is calling Panther Prowl, a week-long event to orient students to return to classroom mode and to have some fun.

The word prowl is actually an acronym for "prepare, re-engage, orientate, welcome, launch."

The week will be August 9 through 13, and will feature individualized student and parent meetings where the parent or guardian will meet with a teacher to go over the students' progress and tests, among other events.

Teachers will also be contacting families before the week to schedule students for MAP testing, which will go on the first three days. Students will be able to have a tour of their school. Students and parents will go over the policies and schedules, and be able to pay fees, get their laptop, and receive any help with Infinite Campus.

They will also be able to get some Panther pride items.

Elsewhere in the meeting, two mothers of middle school students expressed concern about a lack of interest in the middle school football team.

There are only about a dozen participating students so far.

Ludlow High School principal Travis Caudill said that practices may have begun too early, in May or June, a potential mistake for younger players. Caudill said that athletes may still be involved in other sports such as baseball during that time.

"Some students that age are very committed to sports, but some of them just want to have fun, and enjoy being out of school," said Caudill. "Both are very normal for that age."

"We need to make it fun again," said Kamryn Reed, who, along with Angie Cook, addressed the board about the situation as mothers.

Reed suggested a football camp.

Powell, the board president, said that she is active in the Ludlow Youth Football organization and said that a mentorship opportunity could be helpful, with younger players learning from varsity athletes, and that a football camp could be helpful, too.

Caudill said that usually middle school students show interest in joining sports teams just a few weeks before school returns and that he expected the team's roster to improve soon.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor