Superintendent's Report for April, 2013
This month it was difficult to maintain focus on the CSD Board and district goals for the year, given all that is going on, including the Governor’s plan for grading schools. I will report on the A-F school grading system orally at the meeting, since we still do not have all of what will be late breaking information. But, given the numerous issues to contend with, we have still maintained good momentum toward our goals.
Goal: Evaluate programs proactively and make decisions about continuation
This month, the CSD curriculum committee had its first opportunity to review the draft of the program evaluation model that we are developing. The purpose of having a systematic plan for program evaluation is to ensure continuous improvement in the way that we support students in their attainment of academic, civic, and social skills. It will be especially useful to those who make decisions about programs and resources to determine the future of programs: what to expand, what to change, what to discontinue if the results are not promising. All aspects of the school will be reviewed over time in an organized manner. This process should be year round, not just during the budget development. As I stated last month but it bears repeating, we will collect and use data and information to identify additional needs and to determine whether or not intended goals have been met in our existing programs. We will look for better alternatives for existing practice, and determine whether resources are used efficiently and effectively. Those with firsthand knowledge of the program being evaluated will be encouraged to participate in the evaluation. We will seek credible and reliable information, and attempt to be as fair and unbiased as possible. The CSD Curriculum Committee reviewed the procedures and forms have been developed to accomplish this evaluation. The initial programs identified for review include instructional programs, such as courses and instruction, alternative education, special education, Title One, counseling, and adult education, and system wide programs such as system administration, business office, operation and maintenance, transportation, and food services. It will take time to conduct a thorough review, and we will have information during the coming months to guide program decisions.
Goal: Improve technology:
This area, too, has been affected by recent State decisions regarding “which device” will be selected for the MLTI program. Now that the Governor has indicated that Hewlett-Packard will be the bid choice, there are several options and multiple considerations to consider. The administration, technology committee, and CSD Board will have plenty of discussion as we consider the options.
I have asked Bob Iannuzzi to bring the Technology Plan, which is a plan required by the State, to the CSD Board for approval next month. You may recall that we got approval for a one-year plan a year ago, and we need to submit this plan to fulfill school approval requirements. Our CSD technology plan need to be much more detailed and extensive than the State requirement, and needs to be responsive to changing expectations for the use of technology and professional development. The CHRHS staff had a meeting on April 25 to have a discussion about the vision for technology for CHRHS. The initial work of the staff will be organized to identify common points to develop a draft vision for technology. The discussion was framed in the context that technology is a tool to accomplish our mission of educating all students to high standards, and, as an evolving set of tools, technology will transform how we achieve that result.
Goal: Standards Based Education:
As I mentioned in the last report, we learned that the deadline for implementing the proficiency-based diploma required by Maine law is extended by one year to Jan. 1, 2018. Diplomas awarded on or after Jan. 1, 2018, must be awarded on the basis of the requirements of proficiency. I anticipate that many high schools will be maintaining duel systems of tracking student progress, at least initially, one system a standards based system, and one a traditional grading system. We will need to make decisions about how CHRHS will achieve a process to award a proficiency -based diploma. Many CHRHS staff members have already started work to develop a system to rate students on whether they meet our expectations for academic standards. Last week, I sent out a report to all staff summarizing our goals for bringing a common framework for instruction, the Art and Science of Teaching, to fruition, and for developing a standards based system. I included in that report the common definition for standards based education for our district, which you have in the CSD curriculum report backup. I will be meeting with the staff after school to have an open discussion about the issues facing us, and how we can maintain progress toward the important goals we have selected.