Board pleased with District’s implementation of five new performance strategies for 2012-13

Published: Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Members of the Weatherford ISD Technology Department include (back, from left) John Allison, Directory of Career and Technology / Skyward; Lana Robinson, Help Desk Technician and Administrative Assistant; John Kendall, Telephone System Administrator; Cody Lee, Assistant Network Manager; and Harry Jones, Chief Technology Officer; (front) Ashley Conlon, WISD Board Member; Gena Worden, Computer Repair Technician; Linda Smith, Computer Repair Technician; Tracy Montgomery, Network Manager; and Matt Taylor, Computer Repair Technician. Not pictured is MJ McDaniel, Director of Technology Instructional Support (photo by DERIK MOORE).Members of the Weatherford ISD Technology Department include (back, from left) John Allison, Directory of Career and Technology / Skyward; Lana Robinson, Help Desk Technician and Administrative Assistant; John Kendall, Telephone System Administrator; Cody Lee, Assistant Network Manager; and Harry Jones, Chief Technology Officer; (front) Ashley Conlon, WISD Board Member; Gena Worden, Computer Repair Technician; Linda Smith, Computer Repair Technician; Tracy Montgomery, Network Manager; and Matt Taylor, Computer Repair Technician. Not pictured is MJ McDaniel, Director of Technology Instructional Support (photo by DERIK MOORE).Weatherford ISD Board members had the opportunity to learn what a few of the District’s new initiatives were for the 2012-13 school year at Thursday’s meeting in the District Services Building Boardroom.

School administrators, teachers, and staff members are implementing “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction” which explains five practices that every teacher should use to dramatically improve instructional rigor and relevance as well as student performance.

“The instructional core is between the teacher and the student,” Weatherford ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hanks said, “so our main focus needs to continue to be in this area of learning.”

The book, which was given to every teacher in the District as well as a few other departmental and campus leaders, highlights five different teaching strategies: Frame the Lesson; Work in the Power Zone; Frequent, Small-Group, Purposeful Talk About the Learning; Recognize and Reinforce; and Write Critically.

Administrators also told Board members that it was critical that each of these five components should be used in order to obtain the best results.

Linda Crownover, WISD Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction, said research (which includes additional data obtained from Dr. Robert Marzano of the Marzano Research Laboratory) shows that these different types of instruction could lead to significant gains in student performance.

“Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets are changing,” Crownover added, “and double-digit gains in all subject areas – and in all student groups – are what we are looking for.”

AYP is a measure based on expectations for growth in student achievement.

According to the 2012 Adequate Yearly Progress Guide for Texas Public School Districts and Campuses, performance standards for both Reading/English Language Arts and Mathematics will reach 100 percent by 2013-14. Since 2002-03, these performance standards have been steadily increasing from a baseline 47 percent in Reading/English Language Arts and 33 percent in Mathematics.

Portions of Thursday’s PowerPoint presentation to WISD Board members included the District’s “Wildly Important Goal” which is to achieve 90 percent in all student groups for both Reading/English Language Arts and Mathematics by January 2013.

“Our principals are committed to this Theory of Improvement,” Dr. Hanks said, “and I am looking forward to the ultimate outcome.”

Dr. Hanks also said all departments and campuses have embraced the Cross the Line™ philosophy by Choosing to Commit, Working Hard, Focusing, and Bouncing Back.

In other action, Ikard Elementary Principal Linda Starnes presented her Campus Principal Report to Board members.

Starnes said Ikard currently has 623 students and 70 staff members. It is also a Title I campus and has a bilingual program.

“We have two ‘Wildy Important Goals,’” she added. “1. Increase academic performance in all subjects; and 2. Increase our AYP percentages.”

Starnes also talked about her Positive Intervention Classrooms (PIC) for grades 3-8.

“The purpose of PIC is to teach kids how to cope, socialize, and interact in the classroom,” she said, “with the goal of returning them back to their home campuses in a less-restrictive environment.”

Other campuses offering PIC settings are Austin Elementary (grades K-2), Tison Middle School, WHS Ninth Grade Center, and Weatherford High School.

Additional agenda items approved at Thursday’s meeting:

- Consent Agenda Items (tax report for July 2012; comparison to revenues and expenditures to budget; investment report; cash position by bank account; general budget amendments #1; and appointment of Superintendent to Board of Directors of Weatherford Economic and Development Authority)

- Board Policy DEC (Local) – Compensation Benefits: Leaves and Absences

- Weatherford ISD grading guidelines for the 2012-13 school year

- Personnel: Resignations: Matthew Scott, Assistant Principal at Tison Middle School; and Julie Vinson, Campus Nurse at Ikard Elementary.

Retirement: Jill Markwardt, Speech Pathologist for Special Programs;

New Hires Lisa Edmunds, Assistant Principal at Tison Middle School; Sloane Becker, Deaf Education Teacher at Hall Middle School; Janalee Brabson, Third Grade Teacher at Crockett Elementary; Leigh Brown, Campus Nurse at Ikard Elementary; Dana Edwards, Campus Nurse at Martin Elementary; Stephanie Feltman, Sixth Grade Teacher at Wright Elementary; Kaitlyn Gass, Third Grade Teacher at Ikard Elementary; Jill Key, First Grade Teacher at Martin Elementary; and Amy Lanoy, Part-Time PreK Teacher at Ikard Elementary

Other Report items heard at Thursday’s meeting:

- Leading Indicator Process (LIP) Report for August 2012

- Weatherford ISD Branding Committee Report

- Funding from Outside Sources Report

- July 2012 TAKS Exit-Level Test Results

- July 2012 STAAR End-of-Course Test Results

- Weatherford ISD Summer Instruction Report

Recognition: The Weatherford ISD Technology Department was recognized for providing outstanding technology service to WISD staff members as well as incorporating technology in the classroom. Most recently, Weatherford ISD Chief Technology Office Harry Jones helped secure a $100,000 grant to purchase iPads for the District’s economically-disadvantaged classes.

Other programs the WISD Technology Department has launched over the past year include the Destiny Library Tracking System, My School Bucks online payment program for school meals, pilot program for Bring Your Own Technology (now expanded to all WISD campuses), Skyward Financial System Update, and the new Skyward Student Management System that also includes a new Family Access portal which will be announced very soon.

In addition to these programs, the WISD Technology Department provides ongoing service to WISD staff members through a Technology Work Order process, staff development trainings, and even managing the scoreboard technology at home football games.

•  Last year the Technology Department completed right under 4,000 work orders with an average time to complete of 2 days, 2 hours and 4 minutes (the department also received an overall staff satisfaction rating of 98 percent)

•  For the past 3 years, the Technology Department has offered an average of 175 staff development trainings and already have exceeded that number so far this school year.

Members of the Weatherford ISD Technology Department include:

Harry Jones – Chief Technology Officer

John Allison – Director of Career & Technology / Skyward

MJ McDaniel – Director of Technology Instructional Support

Tracy Montgomery – Network Manager

Cody Lee – Assistant Network Manager

John Kendall – Telephone System Administrator

Linda Smith, Matt Taylor, and Gena Worden – Computer Repair Technicians

Lana Robinson – Help Desk Technician and Administrative Assistant

A special-called meeting will be Sept. 19 to discuss facility needs. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the DSB Boardroom.