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Germantown School District delays Project Lead the Way contract again

April 7, 2014

Germantown — While stating support for Project Lead the Way curriculum March 24, the School Board once again held off on approving a cohort agreement to continue the program in the district.

Project Lead the Way provides science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum to districts nationwide. The agreement to continue the program in the Germantown School District was first brought to the board in mid-March.

School Board President Bob Soderberg addressed said the board was "extremely supportive of Project Lead the Way." He explained, "the reason we didn't take action a couple weeks ago at the last board meeting was that there were some serious data privacy concerns referencing data being released to third parties on our students. The board does not support that."

In the days that followed that meeting, Superintendent Jeff Holmes was able to speak with the state director of Project Lead the Way about the use of student data and the language used in the contract to address privacy.

The state director had to contact the national office where the agreement was generated to get answers to Holmes' questions.

"I should be getting a phone call from the executive vice president in charge of operations for Project Lead the Way," Holmes said. "It appears that it is not going to be a problem for them to restructure the language in that particular portion to where the agreement is strictly in-line with FERPA (Family Educational Rights Privacy Act)."

Holmes requested the board once again table approval of the agreement until he hears from the national director and can provide the board with more information.

A second concern related to costs listed in the contract was answered Monday, however.

"In regard to the financial questions, the high school does pay the $3,000 for their portion of Project Lead the Way and the middle school pays $750 for their particular program," Holmes said. "Those two amounts are the only two that apply to our part of the agreement."

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