Friday, October 12, 2007
Regional School Committee sets objectives to improve performance
The Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) has set goals for the district and administration, as well as specific objectives in the areas of special education, technology, budget, human resources, finance, information technology, facilities, transportation and food services.
District goals center around teaching and learning. They include: the implementation of regular education interventions for low-achieving students; continuing review and improvement of curriculum, instruction and assessment practices; providing professional development opportunities for teachers to understand and apply current research and best practices; including time for teachers to discuss student work, review data and share successful instructional strategies; and providing support to new staff.
Goals for the principal and administrators also center around the student. The first goal, to make decisions based on the principle that students and learning are at the core, has strong agreement among the members of the RSC. Other goals are: to align instructional programs and strategies with state and district standards; to ensure each student is meeting the school's expectations for learning; to balance the role of the educational leader and the building site manager, understanding that both are critical if a school is to be a successful community of learners; to anticipate problems and put in place practices that address problems promptly; to continue to develop systems for data gathering and data use to inform and improve student learning; to employ student assessment data for the purpose of increasing student learning and improving instructional strategies; and to increase student performance in math, reading and writing, meeting all performance and improvement targets for all subgroups of students on the MCAS.
Special education goals
In special education the central goals are to strengthen the eligibility criteria, continued collaboration on program development, effective delivery of services and reduction in the number of out-of-district placements from CCHS.
Gene Warfel is director of Technology for the district. Technology goals include: aligning programs and practices with state standards and progressive practices; developing technical skills in specialists, teachers and administrators; facilitating innovation and creativity in applications across the district; identifying site needs and directing a budget process that supports current and emerging technology and ensures regular replacement of software and equipment.
The X2 System, a software system that maintains student records, will ultimately hold health, attendance and grade information for each student. One goal is to provide leadership and support for the information technology team in implementing the X2 System with the goal of integrating student information into one database for teachers, administrators and the staff. Another goal is to provide a portal for parents and students with access to data such as attendance and grades.
There are a number of information technology goals. These include: securing funding for updating the CCHS wireless network and ethernet switches, adding several servers and expanding storage for students and staff; adding a second server for the X2 Student Information System; updating the First Class e-mail system to version 9 with an archiving server; adding a preventive maintenance system for the maintenance department and updating the inventory system.
A big advantage was gained by bringing in the First Class System. It is a collaboration tool that includes e-mail and bulletin board capabilities. Students now have e-mail accounts on the First Class. Since there is consistency in e-mail addresses, it is an easy way for students and teachers to communicate.
Budget and finance goals
Budget and finance goals are: to continue meeting with the Finance Committees and Boards of Selectmen of both towns; to develop an FY09 budget with a methodology responsive to both FinComs; to work closely with Director of Finance and Operations John Flaherty, Superintendent Brenda Finn and the administrative team to develop a responsive and responsible FY09 district budget that meets district needs and acknowledges state and town resources; to gather data, meet with staff regularly to discuss school and budget needs, and process and prioritize; to communicate budget updates and outcomes with staff at least monthly in an honest, forthright, respectful and comprehensive manner; to support human resources as a discrete function reporting to the superintendent; to continue cross-training among business functions; to strengthen asset inventory databases; to conclude evaluation of payroll and human resources systems; to develop an RFP for a new human resources/financial system and implement it; to ensure Adult & Community Education (ACE) business management processes meet the auditor's request; to develop an expense forecasting process capability for ACE management; to provide management tools for ACE fiscal accountability and documentation of town in-kind and service contributions to the school district.
Human resource goals
Human resource goals are to provide a comprehensive employee handbook; to create a substitute teacher training module; to develop, promote and evaluate the "Wellness at Work" program; to continue to evaluate existing position descriptions and revise as necessary to ensure effective, current and relevant practices; to actively participate in teacher union meetings to develop a new teacher supervision and evaluation system based on current research; and to continue to ensure that evaluations are done in a proper and timely manner consistent with existing policy and contracts.
Facilities goals include: providing timely responses to work order requests and completing capital projects on schedule and within budget; fully staffing the maintenance component of the organization; maintaining the improved labor relations with the maintenance and custodial staffs; providing a more comprehensive assessment of capital planning needs; fully utilizing budgetary resources; and continuing facilities management's presence on building committees.
Goals for transportation include: continuing staffing with high-caliber drivers; improving driver training and content of safety meetings; improving the content and quality of training for mechanics; improving communication with the CCHS principal and school personnel; improving the preventive maintenance program and record system on buses; improving asset tracking; and finalizing and distributing a transportation handbook.
Food services also has goals. These include: continuing to adopt healthier food options, increasing the use of whole wheat grains, fresh fruits and vegetables from farms; eliminating the use of hydrogenated oils; improving the new cash-free system at the CCHS cafeteria; improving fiscal controls; providing medical training to the staff for administering CPR, using Epi-pens and addressing choking situations; providing sanitization and serve-safe training; increasing student interaction with food services; and providing nutritional information to classroom staff.
© 2007 The