Natrona Schools – Our Kids, Our Community

Discover how our kids are being empowered to create their future!

Committee hears about activities, academies, assessments

Division Stakeholder Committees have been created to assist divisions in obtaining input and feedback on tasks assigned to divisions by Cabinet. The Committees are recommending bodies to their respective divisions and ultimately Cabinet. The Committees will use a consultative decision making process in formulating recommendations to their respective division and Cabinet.

The group began their meeting on November 6 with information from Terry Hooker about Cut Policy, Articulation, and Undue Influence in the arena of Athletics and Activities. Hooker said there is an ad-hoc group that is meeting on these three topics and they had their first meeting on November 5. He stressed to the stakeholder group that the cut policy is only at the high school level. The Board of Trustees recently approved this policy. The policy focuses on the communication process of the cut or selection policy to parents and the students. The group spoke about starting these conversations at the 8th grade level, and possibly having a freshman-only meeting at the beginning of the school year. Hooker said the next steps are to formalize this information within the admin regulations.

Hooker also summarized the work on Undue Influence – which is attempting to prevent any type of recruiting of students for participation purposes on co-curricular teams. Hooker said the undue influence issue is a complicated one because of NCSD’s school of choice policy.

The topic of Vertical Articulation is teaching similar skills across middle grade levels across the District (not KW- or NC-specific.) It doesn’t mean that the middle levels will teach sports-specific systems, but instead, wider, over-arching themes.

Next, Jon Lever, NCSD’s Assessment Coordinator spoke about the WAEA (accountability model) results for the District. Lever said all of the elementary and middle school information within the WAEA system comes from the PAWS and SAWS assessments. High school information comes from the ACT suite and other factors. Lever said large portions of NCSD’s schools are in the “partially meeting expectations”, while two schools landed in the “exceeding expectations” category. Most of the high schools are in the “not meeting expectations” category. The results were expected because of the recently raised cut-off score levels.

Wilcox said the District will prepare a curriculum policy, based on the standards-based education system. Wilcox said there will be subject area committee teams that will set up basic parameters and focus areas within the standards-based journey, in an effort to align throughout the District. Wilcox says eventually each content area will only have to be reviewed by the District every few years.

Next, Danna Anderson spoke about the most recent steps taken in the K-12 Transformation area. Anderson spoke about the work that has been done to develop the parameters around a master schedule to accommodate students who wish to attend academies at CAPS and to form small learning communities at each of the high schools. C&I Executive Director Kelly Hornby said the District is at a good place to refer to the Framing Document’s timeline, which lines out the steps that need to take place in order for the Academy system to become a reality. Hornby also said the master schedule is the next big piece, along with the common course guide. Committee member Sheila McHattie asked for transparency throughout the processes, as we get closer to implementation so the staff knows what the plan is. Principals of both an elementary and middle school both spoke about their desire to prepare their students for the new system, but expressed concern about the steps they’re supposed to take.

Next, Ted Hanson, NCSD’s Special Services Director, spoke about the behavior training and support. Ted has submitted questions to the proposed trainer, and once those are answered the approval will go to cabinet and ultimately to the Board. Ted also said he continues to receive feedback from principals about behavior issues, and there is a need to train staff members to be better equipped.

Next, Hanson spoke about a Developmental Kindergarten ad-hoc group that met and has made a few site visits across the state. Hanson listed the following issues that still need work: locations, screening tools, processes, and best practices. The C&I Stakeholder group is due to make a recommendation.

Finally, the group heard from employee representation groups.

NCAESS: No issues.

NCEA: Has heard from high school teachers regarding new schedules: Students aren’t able to get help from teachers in morning; some students go a long time without a break; too many meetings in the mornings; teachers don’t have availability in the mornings to offer help; duty free lunches are being impeded on. NCEA reps also asked that the group pushes on the Course Guide process to make it user-friendly.

NCASE: Comp time and collaboration piece – needs to be added to the Stakeholder list of “to-dos”; common high school schedule and how collaboration time works; staffing timeline

Before the meeting adjourned, Hornby spoke about starting the staffing calendar earlier than in years’ past to give the district a competitive edge when it comes to hiring new employees. This would ask the enrollment calendar to move forward as well in order to come up with enrollment numbers/staff needs.

The next C&I Stakeholder Meeting is scheduled for November 20.

Attendance: Walt Wilcox, Kelly Hornby, Jon Lever, Aaron Wilson, Marie Puryear, Sheila McHattie, Michelle Blake, Bobbie VanHouten, Josh Thompson, Danna Anderson, Angela Hensley, Ted Hanson, Norm Cox, Wayne Tuttle, Terry Hooker, Dean Braughton, Allen Bruggman



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 14, 2014 by in Home - Inside NCSD, In Focus.

Natrona Schools

Blog Stats

  • 107,009 hits
%d bloggers like this: