by Angie Asam-Staff Writer
The Onaway Area Community Schools Board of Education took time at their workshop meeting on Jan. 22 to set some goals. Board president Sharon Lyon has been stressing the importance of the board setting goals for some time as they offer guidance to get the school where the board and the public would like to see it go.
The first goal the board set was communication. “I think this is a goal that is never going to come off the table, I think it is an ongoing goal,” said superintendent Rod Fullerton.
The board discussed several ways to continue good and better communication with the staff and administration to make sure everyone is on the same page about things.
Goals include ensuring that assessments are in place monitoring academic progress at all grade levels. Lyon and board member Pam Lovelace discussed their feelings that they would like to see test scores go up in writing and would like to see improvement the written and oral communication by the students.
The board then moved on to discuss the C.A.R.D.S program currently in use in the elementary school, which rewards students for following the appropriate and expected behavioral standards set up. In the elementary the staff has seen an increase in student achievement and a decrease in discipline problems because of the success of the program.
“The success of the CARDS program correlates to us getting ranked third in the state for academic achievement in elementary. I want to see that extend to the middle school and high school levels,” said Lovelace.
The board continued to discuss ways to extend that program and set the goal of ensuring that an appropriate age level positive behavior support system was in place at all grade levels.
With recent national events involving school, school safety and security has become an issue for all school districts. The board has been hearing from concerned parents on the school safety at Onaway and the board would like to develop a comprehensive safety plan for the district.Technology enveloped the final goal set by the board. Technology is ever changing and education is moving more toward technology. State standardized tests are going online and students are going to have to have access to computers that have the technology to complete their state tests.
The final goal set by the board was to develop a plan to stay current with technology in the district.
IN OTHER SCHOOL BOARD NEWS:
• The board authorized the purchase of a school bus, which has been budgeted for. Fullerton informed the board that in order to get a bus by the end of the school year they needed to start looking now. The district received three quotes, one for a 2008 bus, one a 2010 and the final a 2011 bus. Fullerton told the board that the mileage on the 2008 as compared to the newer ones was pretty close but the price was $15,000 less. The board authorized the purchase of a bus, after it has been inspected for rust.
• The board approved ballot language for the operating millage they will be looking to be approved in May. The board decided to go for a 10 year operating milage and would like to do a lot of education of the voters to make sure they understand what they are voting for. The millage will allow the district to capture up to 18 mills for their operating funds.
• The board formally established that Mike Moreau, newly elected board member, would not be allowed to serve the district as a substitute teacher now that he is a board member.
• Administrative contracts were approved after a lot of discussion revolving around if the salaried employees should be allowed personal and bereavement days. Added to the contracts this year will be a complete job description as well as a description for extra pay. The contracts will allow for four personal days per year and bereavement days.