The school board approved a trial run of the app Purposity, introduced their 2020-2021 calendar and more Dec. 11.

The goal of the app Purposity is to connect students and families in need with members of the community who can help them.

The app is free, confidential and helps engage the community, Rod Fesel said. A liaison or staff member like Fesel can vet the donations and protect the family’s identity.

Fesel, truancy and homeless education liaison for grades K-6, gave an example of how it works: A teacher notices that a student has been coming to school with holes in his shoes. She posts on the app with the size and type of shoes needed. A community member who has the app gets an alert with the request and a brief story. That community member can then order the shoes from his phone, and they will be delivered to the school.

Students and families who receive items can write a thank-you note to the donor through the app.

The board approved a trial run with a 5-0 vote.

“This is an answer to some serious prayers,” board member Joan Engel said.

Capital School District posted on Facebook Dec. 21:

Ever wonder how you could help a student but don’t know where to start? We’re excited to announce we’re partnering with Purposity to make it simple! Starting today, you’ll be able to get alerts about student needs by downloading the app and following us! Just head to the App Store or Google Play and then select Capital as your organization!

New middle schools

Superintendent Dan Shelton gave an update on the new middle schools after a Dec. 10 community meeting focused on design.

Since the middle schools are going to be built where the old high school was, 1 Patrick Lynn Drive, the architects must work around environmentally protected land and existing athletics fields. This leaves 17 acres to build on, Shelton said.

“It’s a very narrow site, and it’s locked in,” he said, adding that the district plans to keep the athletic fields where they are because they are expensive to move.

The middle schools will include two levels and distinctive areas for each grade, six through eight. A D-shaped building will allow for a common area and short travel distances for students, Shelton said.

The architects will give a full presentation at the board meeting Jan. 15.

Unified flag champs

The Dover High School unified flag football team made school history by winning the state championship Nov. 30. The Capital School District Board of Education recognized the team at the Dec. 11 meeting.

Board member Sean P.M. Christansen recalled moments from the game, like a memorable “Superman catch” in the touchdown zone, and commended the team on their work this season.

“These coaches have an amazing connection with this team,” Christiansen said. Always the proponent of district athletics, he predicted the championship would feed into more wins.

“You guys started it,” he said to the team. “Now it’s going to be contagious.”

Calendar for 2020-2021

The 2020-2021 school year would start before Labor Day, assistant superintendent Sylvia Henderson said as she introduced the proposed calendar.

Once the new middle schools are built and the district finishes with those transitions, they will consider starting after Labor Day, she said.

The first day is Aug. 27 and the last day June 11. Students and staff will have off the entire week of Thanksgiving due to typically low attendance that week.

The calendar includes an extra work day for new teachers to help them acclimate, Henderson said.

The district has been accepting public comment since Dec. 12. The board voted to table the calendar until they receive feedback from the public.

Advanced Placement Capstone

The district may add an Advanced Placement Capstone program to their current AP curriculum, director of instruction Paul Dunford said.

Dover High School offers 21 AP courses, a College Board curriculum in which students can earn course credits for college.

The two-year capstone program includes two courses: AP Research and AP Seminar.

Instead of teaching subject-specific content, like in an AP French or Biology class, these focus on skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing and presenting, according to the College Board’s website.