JPS moving ahead with AdvancEDThe Jamestown Public School Board learned Monday how administrators are moving forward in the third of a five-year school improvement cycle called AdvancED.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Public School Board learned Monday how administrators are moving forward in the third of a five-year school improvement cycle called AdvancED.
“It’s a way of looking at ourselves,” said Gail Wold, Jamestown Middle School principal, and District School Improvement Committee member. “It’s taking a look at who we are a district, what are we doing well and what are we not doing well.”
AdvancED also has guidelines that must be met for the district to maintain accreditation with the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement in order to receive funding.
There are five standards and 35 indicators throughout those standards that are used to measure the quality of the district.
“We have to be functioning within the indicators, within those standards, at high levels to have highly functioning schools for our students,” Wold said.
The first standard is purpose and direction, the second is governance and leadership, the third is teaching and assessing for learning, the fourth is resources and support systems and the fifth is using results for continuous improvement.
Wold said the members of the District School Improvement Committee, who are involved in all facets of the district, have been working hard throughout the process.
At a future meeting Wold will present survey results from parents, students and staff about how the indicators in the standards are being met.
The improvement committee will meet once a month, and in March will have an external accreditation team visit, where team members will conduct interviews and observe in classrooms. This will leave the committee with two months to take any recommended actions.
The School Board also heard from Joe Hegland, former JMS principal and current director of curriculum and professional development.
Hegland updated the board on the transition process to the new Common Core education standards.
The standards will go into effect with the start of the 2014-2015 school year. This will ultimately replace Adequate Yearly Progress as mandated by No Child Left Behind if the federal government accepts a waiver from North Dakota to stop using AYP to gauge student performance.
“It’s going to be a long process, it’s going to take quite a bit of time,” Hegland said. “One of the challenges is how to coordinate to get information to teachers on new standards and how to switch to new standards.”
Only five states have yet to adopt Common Core, which will have a more difficult curriculum for math and language arts. The changes will be felt across academics at all grade levels.
A number of teachers have been involved in workshops for the Common Core during the last school year and this summer, Hegland said.
Last week language arts teachers completed training for Common Core. In addition, all teachers in grades 6-12 worked on the transition to the changing education standards during an early dismissal day last Wednesday.
“I’m hoping as part of the plan that you will come back to us often and guide us as a board through this learning experience,” said Terry Anderson, board member.
In other news, the board formed a committee to look at the support staff salary schedule. Board member Diane Hanson will chair the committee, with board members Greg Allen and Tanya Ostlie also serving on the committee.
There was some confusion amongst the board and support staff about a 6 percent raise that was given out as 3 percent on base pay and 3 percent in a step increase. Other support staff received a flat 6 percent raise.
“I can see that it’s causing some tension in the board,” Hanson said. “I know it’s causing confusion among the support staff.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com