School Board Hears Presentation On Goals For 2019-20

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Oskaloosa School Board met in regular session on Tuesday, August 13th, 2019.

Oskaloosa School Superintendent Paula Wright gave a presentation to the Oskaloosa School Board in regards to the District, school, and individual improvement goals.

The presentation was a result of questions she has fielded in regards to goals for the upcoming year, and where the District was headed.

“So the administrators and I have had a lot of conversations about aligning our goals and making sure that our goals all make sense,” said Wright to the Board. “We’ve had a lot of conversation about minimizing the number of goals down to actual action steps and making an impact.”

The decision was to make an impact on those goals, “and do it well that will [so that it will] impact a whole lot of other things, instead of having 10 or 12 or 20 goals. We really want to narrow the focus, and we want to make sure they all make sense and are aligned.”

District Priorities started off with culture and climate, followed by student achievement. “Both of those are huge,” said Wright. Finances and facilities, as well as safety and security, are also top priorities for the District.

Breaking down the first goal of culture and climate, the first point was “all staff will gain understanding into social-emotional learning from both a personal and student viewpoint.

The second is all staff will learn and implement strategies to connect to students, other staff members, and community members from all walks of life in all situations.

Thirdly, all staff will contribute to a positive culture in each building.

This will start off with a district-wide professional development presentation from Eric Jensen. Jensen is an expert in dealing with children who live in poverty. The goal is to help teachers with strategies to help children of different backgrounds. “What are some of the things you can do to connect to all kids,” added Wright.”

There will be a presentation for the students, with a seperate presentation for the staff, followed by a community presentation in the evening.

Planned for October is a visit by Willie Jolley for Connections Matter. “It’s an absolute blessing that Oskaloosa can bring somebody like him,” remarked Wright of the upcoming visit.

Jolley is best known for his motivational best selling book: It Only Takes A Minute To Change Your Life. Other than being an author, Jolley is a radio host, speaker, singer, and media personality.

“His message is all about excellence and attitude, and how your attitude drives what happens in your life,” said Wright of Jolley.

With student achievement and core instruction, the first goal is “Teaching staff will gain a better understanding of the Iowa Instructional Framework for quality teaching.”

The other goal is to have teaching staff align individual professional development goals, PLC goals, and classroom instruction to one domain/indicator/descriptor and implement.

The two focus points for teachers and core instruction this year will be teacher knowledge of students and standards and objectives.

Continuing with standards reference grading, the District will have identified priority standards, created proficiency rubrics and common formative assessments aligned to the standards. Staff will then upload them to the staff resources site in all core areas.

In regards to finances and facilities for the District, the goal is to reduce negative deficit spending in all funds. (Specifically special education, Title I, home school assistance, and food service).

The District is also focusing on reducing the number of open enrolled out students.

They are also looking to create a long-range facilities plan for future growth and improvement.

For safety and security, the District is prioritizing professional development to staff at each building regarding the emergency operations plans.

The District will also be focusing on creating long-range planning for safety and security needs.

Some of the other points brought up included; All members of Oskaloosa Schools are expected to learn and grow and are provided the tools and resources to do so.

Administrators at all levels work in conjunction to align goals, provide accountability and feedback, and ensure growth.

Teachers work collaboratively and individually to enhance their skills.

“Our students benefit from our aligned efforts, enhanced collaboration and improved classroom practices!”

In other Board action, consideration of a pilot program of LobbyGuard Versa was discussed.

The device would be utilized to check in visitors to buildings, verify the visitor, and any child custody topics or restrictions could be brought forward.

The device would also scan drivers licenses and would print visitor badges with valuable information. The device offers instant visitor background checks and logging of visits.

The Board and District will be working to develop policies for the use of the check-in devices once the trial period is over.

The next regular meeting for the Oskaloosa School Board is September 10th, 2019 at 6 pm at the George Daily Auditorium Board Room.

Posted by on Aug 15 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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