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December 15, 2008

District creates new Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan Committee met Dec. 3 and 4 to create a new plan for the district. Members recommended ideas for new strategies that will be further defined and presented to the full committee Jan. 14 when it reconvenes to consider the new plan.

Educational Services and Human Resources Director John Roubik gave the School Board an update on the planning process. Following approval, action teams will develop specific plans to meet objective and strategies. The plan will be shared with staff at the March 27 in-service and with parents at Home and School meetings in the spring.

Two site plans approved
School Board members approved two school site plans and extended appreciation to the staff who contributed to the schools’ accomplishments.

Principal James Edmond and Assistant Principal Cynthia Stemper reported on progress noted in Woodside Elementary School’s site plan review. The school’s two tactics state that students will:

  • experience social and emotional growth leading to academic success through strong and nurturing relationships between students, staff and families; and
  • demonstrate confidence and academic success through instructional best practices, and struggling students will achieve success through differentiated instruction and interventions.

Edmond highlighted the school’s performance on standardized tests. Stemper reported on steps staff have taken to meet the needs of each student.

Among the next steps for the school will be to gather baseline data on specific measures of success, review the noise-reduction plan and move on to other environmental issues, further implement the Responsive Classroom initiative, research translation services for parent communication, investigate whether Home and School format and topics are meeting parents needs, create mini-curriculum guides for each grade level, discuss student-led parent-teacher conferences, share common best practices from professional book study groups and track student interventions and successes using the Response to Intervention model.

Willow Springs Learning Center will continue to work on its single tactic that states: “The student will be enriched in a unique, well-defined and articulated four-year-old kindergarten program.”

Willow Springs Principal Margaret Tackes, Ed.D., described work of the faculty in the past year which focused on development of the Transition to Success Program for student entry into school and organizing the curriculum to align with the Wisconsin model of Early Learning Standards.

The Transition to Success Program was renamed Jump Start to 4K, which was received well by faculty and parents, according to Tackes. The meetings were more directly and clearly publicized. This portion of the site plan was declared completed.

Willow Springs staff worked on a number of other projects throughout the year including rewriting of the report card, piloting of a new handwriting program, establishing a “professional learning community” that held book discussions on several educational books and learning about the updated Wisconsin Model Early Learning standards. They will continue to work on these interventions in the coming year.

Kneiski recognized
School Board members recognized Seniors & Students volunteer Kathleen Kneiske for her work with students at Willow Springs Learning Center. Kneiske, who had been a pen pal prior to tutoring at Willow Springs in 2006, retired as a volunteer this year. Kindergarten teacher Rita Forrester and RSVP Seniors & Students Coordinator Becky Hubred described Kneiske’s contributions to students and thanked her for her service. She was presented with a certificate from the School Board and a box of candy from the Willow Springs staff.