School Board hears improvement plans

Kelly Paul, AY Editor

School Board hears improvement plans

Barlow - District and school improvement was the theme of the Board of Education meeting this past Monday evening as principals from each school outlined specific plans geared toward student achievement and reaching goals.

Gayle Perkins, Supervisor/Assessment, set the scene for district improvement as she spoke of plans at the district level known as the Consolidated District Improvement Plan (CDIP). Perkins told the board that the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) had sent specific goals they wanted the district to include based on the school district’s report card. One of the six goals discussed is an increase in average combined reading and math K-Prep scores of elementary and middle school students in addition to an increase in high school proficiency in the same category.

Another goal at the district level included an increase in the district average combined reading & match proficiency ratings for all students in the non-duplicated gap group. “Gap” students include minorities, ELL, disabled, and socially low-income students. Another district goal included an increase in college and career readiness by 2017. The Plan also deals with freshman graduation.

The last two district level improvement goals include an increase in teacher capacity to involve all teachers across the district in professional growth and effectiveness by 2015 and an increase in principal capacity for involvement of principals in professional growth and effectiveness by May 2015.

Following Perkins, each of the principals outlined his/her consolidated school improvement plan (CSIP). Each of the principals explained their itemized plans and provided objectives, strategies, and activities for achieving those planned goals.

Ballard Elementary School Principal Vicki Gough focused on three priorities: Governance & Leadership, Proficiency, and Purpose & Direction. As pertaining to Governance & Leadership, Gough said elementary SBDM bylaws and policies were being reviewed, teachers were participating in professional development meetings twice a month, and teachers were working with shared strategies for reading and math. As for Purpose and Direction, the elementary school has adopted a new vision, mission, and belief statement.

Ballard Middle School Principal Kevin Estes presented his plan via a video since he was unable to attend the meeting due to another commitment. He had five goals that included: an increase in combined reading and math as evidenced by KPREP scores, an increase in combined reading and math proficiency for all students in the non-duplicated gap group, an increase in the total percent of proficient/distinguished students in content areas, an increase in the percent of distinguished programs in arts/humanities and PL/VS writers, and the application of specific strategies to address areas of improvement identified in the TELL KY survey results. The TELL survey provided a statewide opportunity for all licensed school-based educators to provide input on teaching conditions.

Ballard Memorial High School Principal David Meinschein presented six goals that included: an increase in average combined reading and math proficiency ratings for all students in the non-duplicated gap group; an increase in the cohort graduation rate; the need for all educators to have a supportive environment necessary to help students achieve at the highest levels; reviews of all areas of the Arts & Humanities, Practical Living and Career Studies & Writing Programs; an increase in the percentage of students who are college & career ready; and an increase in the average combined reading and math proficiency ratings for all students.

In addition to explaining the high school CSIP, Meinschein said the Autobody program will be cut at the end of this academic year. A Community meeting will be held to get input regarding what to offer students to make them more career ready. His goal was to see “How many students walk away college & career ready according to Unbridled Learning.”

In other business during the meeting, the board members approved the Health and Nutrition Report as given by Student Nutrition Director Amber Hayes prior to the meeting at a scheduled hearing. The report included the district’s participation in the Federal Community Eligibility Option in which both the preschool and elementary school provide free lunch for students. According to Hayes, the Federal Reimbursement helped save Ballard County parents approximately $75,000.

Hayes’ Report also included an update on the greenhouse, which is to be used as a Farm-to-School project. Vegetables will be grown and then purchased and served in the cafeteria. Hayes also said in 2012-2013, Ballard County became the third district in Kentucky to pass the 6-cent audit. In addition, all athletic physicals are now done on-site, and BCES has been awarded a five-year grant to implement after-school learning through 21st Century program.

Also during the meeting, the board elected Haskel Sheeks to continue as Chairman of the Board and Karen Tilford to continue as Vice-Chairman. Superintendent Casey Allen will continue as Secretary and Kim Bailey will continue as Treasurer.

The Board also approved the draft budget for Fiscal Year 2015, the personnel report, and the setting of 2014 meeting dates, which only involve one change that includes meeting on the 20th of October due to fall break. All other meetings will be held on the second Monday of every month.

In business not requiring Board action, the Board discussed updates to the Local Planning Committee; the first meeting will be Thursday, January 30th at BMHS at 6:00 p.m. Capital Outlay monies were discussed with an interest expressed by Transportation/Facilities Director Terry Fulcher to use the money to update the athletic building, so he has the ability to provide climate control for the building as he does for all other buildings.

Due to weather-related school cancellations, February 17th and March 14th will be Full days. The last day of school is May 21st, and will be a Full Day.

The final items discussed during this month’s meeting included January as being board member recognition month, the KSBA annual conference, and student/staff achievement.