Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1044360

Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 28, 2014

Goals for the year set

Focus to be on student achievement during 2013-14
By Xiomara Levsen | Aug 15, 2013
School board member Troy Suchan speaks about stressing the importance of taking college courses in high school to Washington High School students and parents at the meeting on Wed. Aug. 14.

By Xiomara Levsen
The JOURNAL
The Washington School Board approved the board’s goals for the 2014 fiscal year and discussed the superintendent’s goals at their meeting on Wednesday, Aug 15.
The school board goals for 2013-14 school year included setting the student achievement proficiency goals for each building in reading and math, looking at the parental involvement in the educational climate, accessing communication, and obtaining extracurricular data.
School board member Patty Roe asked if all of these goals were within reach or would they be a stretch?
“The 95 percent reading goal at the high school might be the toughest one to reach but possible,” said Washington Community School District superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen.
School board president Eric Turner went on to explain how the goals were set from building to building.
“Most of the percentages are pretty close to what the goals were last year or modified based on achieving goals at Stewart,” Turner said. “They had achieved a little bit higher, so they were set a little bit higher. The high school, Mr. Buchholz [Washington High School principal] suggested they’re being based on what the ‘No Child Left Behind’ standards are.”
The goals were passed unanimously.
For the superintendent’s goals there were three suggestions. Turner suggested the superintendent make a student achievement report to the board with a three-year comparison for reading trends and two-year comparison for math trends.
The next suggestion was to begin the orientation process with Kirkwood Community College to get students ready for the opening of the regional center in 2014.
Board member Troy Suchan agreed with Turner. He said students don’t realize how much of a benefit taking the Kirkwood College Community courses would be in high school for them.
“I would argue the students know or have the opportunity to know,” said board member Stephanie Ellingson. “I would argue the students don’t know the value because they’re sophomores in high school. The counselors could think about trying to present those opportunities in a stronger way, maybe, but I think educating the parents is Number One.”
Suchan said with his son he looked up the cost of college credits in college versus at the high school. He said it grabbed his son’s attention and showed him why he should care.
Jorgensen suggested the final goal, which was to work on the teacher compensation and strategy forms. He said those are due to the state Board of Education no later than January and it would involved a lot of time from both himself, the board members, and committee members involving an equal representation from the district’s teachers and staff.
Turner said he would work on getting the goals ready for approval at the next board meeting.
Other items covered at the school board meeting included:
recognizing three retirees from the school district, who weren’t present at the meeting. They were Richard Bushbee, Zita Kessel, and  Maynard Galt;
and listened to a presentation from Lincoln Elementary principal David Hoffman about the student-led garden. He said the vegetables were actively growing and the students have been very excited to see the growth of the garden. Next year he would like to see it be bigger.
The next school board meeting is scheduled to be on Sept. 11 at the Washington Middle School.


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