School board OKs district plan


NORTH ZULCH — The North Zulch School Board on Thursday approved its 2016-17 District Improvement Plan, which is geared toward improving communication and focusing on positive behavior.

Elementary school Principal Frances Williams, high school Principal Rick Panter and Superintendent Doug Devine developed the plan based on research into curriculum trends and public feedback.

Williams presented the plan to the school board on Thursday, which includes the following highlights:

•Begin the process of vertically aligning curriculum and developing a guaranteed and viable scope and sequence for each content area in each grade level beginning with ELA/R and math.

•Increase the rigor and build a firmer foundation in K-2 reading through the Bulldog Early Learning Targets.

•Teachers will be trained in how to utilize data to make instructional decisions.

•Expand the use of Google Classroom in grades three-12 in order to cut costs and operate more efficiently.

•Develop and utilize district-wide a Positive Behavior Intervention Support system.

Williams said at Thursday’s board meeting that they evaluated last year’s test scores in order to come up with goals for improvement.

Panter, who is relatively new to the district, said after the meeting that the improvement plan is a fluid document.

“It drives curriculum instruction and some of the funding for various programs every year,” he said. “It shows the areas where we’re going to focus our efforts. We’re going to be big on this positive behavior initiative, but the following year, we may need to focus on character education. We could look at this in six months and decide we need to redirect our energies and develop a new strategy. In education we have to continually look at ways for our students to be successful and ways we can improve.”

“Vertical alignment,” Panter said, is a term that means making sure communication occurs among teachers at all levels to ensure that students are prepared for the next grade.

“I want to build better relationships between teachers and students,” Panter said. “We’re going to work on communication between the school and community. Relationship building is a big focus of ours.”

In other matters, the school board:

•Recognized Employees of the Month, Transportation and Maintenance Director Harold Sapp and Registrar Latisha Schueneman.

•Recognized Students of the Month De’Angela Short (high school) and Sierra Schueneman (junior high).