Fayette school board 03.23.2011

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette Board of Education members received a brief overview Monday of the federal Race To The Top (RTTT) program that now includes Ohio schools.

High school teacher Pam Wise and Educational Service Center consultant Sally Kovar spoke about changes ahead in Fayette.

Kovar is pleased that Fayette’s board voted to join in the program because many of the changes will be mandated by the state for all schools. Since Fayette signed on to the program, the district will receive funding to help pay for much of the work coming up.

The district should receive about $25,000 in each of the next four years—and maybe an additional $14,000 made available by some districts dropping out of the program—but she cautioned the board that guidelines are very specific on how the money may be spent.

For the most part, funding will be spent for professional development. The money could be used to hire substitute teachers who would work while the regular teacher attends a professional development session, but it couldn’t be used to hire a new teacher.

Ohio’s chief goals are to improve graduation rates, improve performance on state and national assessments, and reduce the gap between Ohio and the best-performing schools in the nation.

Fayette will also work to revise existing curricula to make it align with state standards. Documents known as “curriculum crosswalk” will guide staff to make the transition to new standards.

Fayette’s “transformation team”—consisting of seven staff members, board member Karen King and Kovar—will lead the district’s efforts.

Value added assessment will be used to measure a student’s growth in skills from year to year. Traditional assessment measures achievement only on a single test such as an end-of-the-year test.

The process is very data-driven, Kovar said.

“As we collect data on students, we’ll begin to see trends, both good and bad,” she said.

That data will help determine the focus of professional development needs.

The district must commit to a comprehensive evaluation system for both teachers and principals. This will be partially tied to student achievement.

Staff evaluation results will be used in employment and tenure decisions, but staff will be given ample time to improve, Kovar said.

Many features of staff evaluation are already in place, she said, and part of the process is self-evaluation.

BUDGET—Superintendent of schools Russ Griggs told the board that per-pupil support is expected to increase for the next school year, but other support will decrease.

AUDIT—District treasurer Kelly Bentley said the district received a clean audit report from the state.

ENROLLMENT—Elementary principal Dr. Luann Boyer was encouraged with the kindergarten registration number of 37, which is higher than usual at this time of the school year.

ELECTRONICS—High school principal Dan Feasel said to expect continuing changes in policy governing electronic devices in schools as the devices themselves change. He said he’s had fewer problems with cell phone usage this year.

For full access to Observer stories, buy a subscription today

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017