Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1029647

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 22, 2014

School board discusses 2014 goals

By David Hotle | Jul 11, 2013
Washington School Board member Sheryl Lewis, left, business manager Jeff Dieleman, board member Ericka Raber and superintendent Mike Jorgensen do some research before the regular school board meeting Wednesday evening.

Will extracurricular activities be a focus for the Washington School District in the coming year? That was a topic of discussion when the Washington School Board discussed its goals for the coming year during its regular meeting Wednesday night.
Board member Patty Roe had suggested the board goal during initial discussion at the June meeting. She said that the board should work to increase the number of students who participate in after-school activities.
“My assumption is ninth- through 12th-graders have a lot of opportunities but that maybe the seventh and eighth grade, as an example, might not have as many and might not have been encouraged to get involved in something. I am not talking about something that costs money. I’m talking about anything, like in-school clubs.”
The board will vote on the list of 2013-14 board goals during its August board meeting.
Curriculum director Veta Thode said that over 60 percent of students in grades seven through 12 are already involved in extracurricular activities. She said that 45 percent of students are involved in athletics. Co-curricular activities draw 19 percent of students. She also said 15 percent are in BPA and 12 percent are in FFA. She did not have numbers for drama or band.
“To me 60 or 70 percent is not fine,” Roe said. “It is not good enough.”
Washington School Superintendent Mike Jorgensen said that there is a link between student success and engaging in extracurricular activities. He said that there are many opportunities for extracurricular activities in seventh and eighth grade.
Roe said that maybe this year the goal could be to build a baseline of data to use next year. She said that the board might be able to identify students who do not have any activities that interest them and address that issue.
The goal of continuing to communicate with the public and encouraging a more diverse group of parents to become involved with the district is being carried over from last year’s list of goals. Roe said that since it had only been on the list of goals for one year, she wanted it to remain. She was concerned removing it after one year would seem “inconsistent.”
The board discussed making the goal revolve on how to identify gaps where communication needs improvement.
“Ultimately having a community that cares about the district depends on them being aware of the school agenda,” Board member Heidi Vittetoe said.
The board is carrying over a math learning proficiency goal from last year. According to a worksheet in the board packet, Stewart Elementary’s goal for next year will be 85 percent proficiency, up from 75 percent this year. Principal Adam Miller said he chose the 85 percent goal because that is what the students scored this year. Lincoln’s goal for the year will remain at 75 percent, carried over from this year. Washington Middle School’s proficiency goal is dropping from 80 to 75 percent. Washington High School is carrying over the goal of 95 percent proficiency.
“Next year we will make it 100 percent,” Principal Erik Buchholz said.
A goal on facilities improvement and maintenance is not included this year. Jorgensen said that the facilities issue in the district is under control for now, but would have to be addressed again in the future.  Jorgensen said that the district would have to address facilities within the next 10 years.
In other business, the board:
• approved a $67,174 bid from Matt Wood for a project to tuckpoint Lincoln Elementary; and
• learned about the progress of the 1:1 computer program at Washington High School.

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