Meeting State Standards Discussed by Morrison School Board
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
MORRISON – A public hearing was held during the August 12th meeting of the Morrison Board of Education meeting concerning the intent of the District to issue $600,000.00 working cash fund bonds for the District. Following the hearing, members of the board proceeded with the regular portion of the meeting. The agenda for the evening, as well as minutes from previous meetings were approved.
Superintendent Suellen Girard reported that the High School PSAE scores increased dramatically and made AYP this year. This is because of the increase in the percent of students meeting or exceeding standards. The Southside students have also met standards in reading because of increased scores.
“This is good news,” Girard stated. “In looking at the State Report cards, there is a huge change because of the change in cut scores for students in grades 3-8. With the increased scores, a number of students who met or exceeded in scores reported for last year did not meet when the State changed the cut scores for those same students on the same test.
“As a District, we must focus on decreasing the gap between economically disadvantaged students and those who are not economically disadvantaged. The other challenging area will be increasing the percent of students with disabilities who meet or exceed standards,” Girard added.
This year, all students in grades 3-5 will receive instruction in keyboarding and technology skills as a pullout class. Girard also mentioned that the District will be piloting teacher evaluations that have a student growth assessment component.
Twenty five percent of the evaluation rating will be based on student progress. For two years, the District will be able to fine-tune the assessments that are used for teacher evaluation.
“Make a difference day was a huge success,” Girard exclaimed. “Many projects were completed that would not have been completed without this extra help. Of note is the landscaping around each of the buildings, the hall ceiling by the pool, and the seats in the stadium.”
A slideshow of the day’s activities is posted on the District Facebook page.
Continuing her report, Girard informed board members that the 2012-2013 audits were positive. Very few audit exceptions were found. One suggestion was to have more of the central office staff cross-trained so that someone else could do the function at least once a year as another check and balance.
The District budget for 2013-2014 is a deficit budget. Thus far, 1018 students have registered, and 97 have not yet completed registration. Last year 1111 students were enrolled.
The iFiber project is almost complete, with just one IP address that is not working. In July, two students broke into the High School, which led to two iPads being destroyed, and two recovered by Police. This is leading to discussions about increasing security for the High School.
Girard ended her report by inviting board members to attend the upcoming Back to School breakfast and meeting for staff, and also invited them to speak.
Discussion items included:
Enrollment projections - Currently 82 students have been verified for kindergarten with another four students not known about. This is an increase from last year;
Make a Difference Day - The first annual Make a Difference Day was held with tasks being accomplished at all four schools in the District. Most of the custodial and administrative staff assisted in leading the efforts at each of the buildings. Over 200 lunches were served at the HS cafeteria and many did not even eat at the cafeteria. Participants were surveyed, and all but one of those recommended repeating this event. Girard thanked all that donated supplies and helped to make the day a success.
The consent agenda was approved including Personnel recommendations, Employment, Resignations, Extra Duty Assignments, and Add Activity Account.
Action items were approved and included School board policy updates, Coaches handbook, Title 1 School-wide plan approval (Northside and Southside), Race to the Top Scope of work, and Fourth section to Kindergarten.
Members then went into closed session for the purpose of discussing discipline of a student. No further action was taken.
The next board meeting is scheduled for September 24th.