Boyle BOE hears Junction Elementary Big 5 goals; softball construction project update given
Published 9:45 am Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Junction City Elementary Principal Pam Shunk gave a presentation on the schools’ Big 5 goals and priorities at the Boyle County Board of Education meeting on Dec. 8.
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The goals are as follows:
1. Student Engagement
Shunk said the school has non-negotiables for stations/centers. She explained that kids at the school are accountable for their work; if they turn something in, or if they’re on their computers in i-Ready, teachers can check reports to keep tabs on their progress, something that Shunk also looks at. They have boards in hallways to measure success.
Shunk said other goals are to incorporate Student Choice, continue using Kagan structures, and the use of formative assessments.
2. School Safety
Along with other district schools, Junction City Elementary has incorporated door alarms. When an alarm goes off, security along with Shunk get text messages and they have to figure out who set it off. They can also look at cameras on their phones.
All visitors must be scanned and have a sticker. They have emergency plans, monthly and yearly drills, keep all doors locked, have increased supervision for arrival/dismissal, and use their SRO.
As part of intervention efforts, teachers now share lesson plans and intervention records with other teachers. When a student is struggling, this allows teachers to see how and what they are doing in other classes, and can come up with a game plan with other teachers.
Teachers also do intentional lesson planning that is differentiated based on the needs of students.
Shunk said classes have a flexible group from first through fifth grade. She said teachers exchange kids from one homeroom to another; if a kid needs to go up or down a grade, they don’t wait until the end of the semester to make that change.
In addition to collecting daily formative assessment data, or exit slips, the school has Review Fridays. Based on how kids do during the week, on Fridays they are put in either a reteaching group, extra practice group, or enrichment group. Shunk said this allows one last opportunity to teach content for the week before moving on. Then students take a quiz.
The academic recovery grant allowed for an additional 30 minutes of reading and 30 minutes of math instruction daily for all students.
As part of the enrichment portion of the goal, the school has implemented pretesting / acceleration.
Teachers working in the hybrid format started giving pre-tests before starting a unit. Kids are given the common assessment, and depending on how they do, teachers adjust unit plans for that group.
“If they already know it, there’s no sense in reteaching something they already know, so that way we can accelerate their learning,” Shunk said.
Teachers also utilize websites for extension ideas, do projects with kids; and utilize the Library Media Specialist to teach small groups, and to manage Battle of the Books.
4. Data Tracking
Students set their own goals based on how they do in i-Ready. Those goals are called WIGS (Wildly Important Goals). Students work with teachers to come up with two lead measures in order to improve their scores. They track those goals in their leadership notebooks, which every student at the school has.
Five students had volunteered to come share their notebooks with people at the board meeting. They shared where they wrote down their WIGS, how they improved, and what happens when they meet goals.
When kids meet their goals, they get to ring the bell and get on the i-Ready scoreboard. When kids pass 25 reading and 25 math lessons on i-Ready, they get their picture up on the board and a treat for doing so. When completing other milestones like 50 and 100, the treats get bigger.
Shunk said they also review Formative Assessment Data in Mastery Connect. They have school-wide and grade level goals in a spreadsheet for Shunk to see how all kids are doing all the time.
5. Family involvement
Shunk said now that Covid is less of a worry, they are working to have more family involvement. Current efforts include weekly newsletters, school-wide events, Leader in Me: Family Component, and other things.
Ben Boggs with design firm Clotfelter Samokar gave a construction update about the Boyle High School Softball Construction Project. He shared pictures of the progress and timeline updates from Brett Construction.
He said they are still on the March 1 time frame for total completion. The visitor dugout will be done by the end of January. The home dugout and softball concessions will be complete by the middle of February.
The softball field and stands / press box will be done by the end of February. The soccer concessions building does not have a timeline yet, but Boggs said they will hopefully have one in soon.
The board approved two payments to Brett Construction for the project, in the amounts of $262,577 and $132,631.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a change in how they pay substitute teachers. Instead of paying a per day amount, they will pay them by the hour to take effect Jan. 1.
• Approved raising the rate for bus drivers for school trips. Superintendent Mike LaFavers said the schools have trouble finding drivers for trips because the hourly rate is significantly lower for trips than the everyday bus route. The board approved raising that trip rate from $12.50 to $15.
The mileage fee for a bus on school trips will also be increased by about 25%. LaFavers said they had kept this same rate for 10 years, but it has to increase due to inflation, rising gas prices, cost of fixing vehicles, etc.
• Heard a proposal from the bass fishing team about the district buying a new boat for the team. Students on the team gave a presentation about how a new boat would give them a competitive advantage over other fishing teams throughout the country. The board gave authorization to bid for a boat, and will take action on a bid at a later date.
• Approved the 2023 – 2024 school calendar.
• Appointed Board Member Jennifer Newby to the Superintendent Search Committee.
• Heard a presentation on the Boyle County Comprehensive Improvement Plan 2022-23. The presentation is as follows. There are 7 required district goals:
● KSA results in reading and math
● KSA results in science, social studies and writing
● Achievement Gap
● English Learners Progress
● Quality of School Climate and Safety
● Postsecondary Readiness
● Graduation Rate
We have short term (this year) and long term (3-5 year) goals.
● Increase proficiency by 5% this year and reduce novice below 10% in core subject areas
● Updated curriculum maps K-12 to include shared resources and current assessments
● Improved data collection processes to better monitor student success and growth
● Participation in a statewide deeper learning initiative that will help our students think more critically and help reach our goals in science, social studies and writing
● Continued implementation of our co-teaching model which maximizes human resources to ensure lower student-teacher ratios
● In class support of English Learners as they gain language proficiency through the content area classes. The goal is for them to be language proficient within 3-4 years.
● Greater emphasis on school safety as evidenced by each school’s Big 5
● Increased participation for the Sophomore ACT
● Increased opportunities for industry certificates
● Maintain a high graduation rate, and help those not on track to graduate