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Trustees consider adding new goals

Posted: September 8, 2011 5:19 p.m.
Updated: September 9, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) currently has nine performance goals for its students. The goals are varied, and range from having every student in kindergarten through second grade performing math and reading on grade level by the end of the school year to having every high school student graduate with either a S.C. high school diploma or general equivalency diploma.

But during Tuesday evening’s Kershaw County Board of School Trustees meeting, KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said it may be time for the board to consider adding more goals, and possibly look at including non-instructional goals.

“Are there areas here we don’t cover that you think that we should, as far as measurable instructional goals? And if there are, we can develop some language to bring back during the next meeting for discussion,” he said. “And -- this has been something that I’ve been thinking about for several months -- a lot of districts have a set of instructional goals that may be longer-termed. And they have year-to-year or bi-yearly goals for non-instructional goals that may have to do with facilities, compensation or any number of things that are not directly instructional, but they are stuff you talk about.”

Regarding his evaluation and the board’s self-evaluation, Morgan said the board could also consider moving toward a common goal-based evaluation of each other.

“Such as, do the superintendent and the board have the same goal?” he said.

In the future, Trustee Mara Jones said, she would like to see a set of performance goals for individual schools “where they aren’t just sitting and doing the status quo.”

“Some schools do so much more to further a kid than other schools … and in some schools, who have kids in a demographic who don’t need to have all of those extras, does it mean that we don’t challenge that school to have more?” she said. “Not necessarily just through awards and grants, but ‘Where are you all, and what are you doing to move forward?’”

Trustee Nissary Wood said Thursday morning that schools can’t be compared in terms of “apples to apples,” as each school is also influenced by its School Improvement Council, demographics, community and parental involvement.

Morgan told the board that each school has developed a School Improvement Matrix that details its individual goals and strategies. On Thursday morning, Morgan said KCSD executive directors of elementary and secondary education, Tim Hopkins and Dr. Agnes Slayman, are currently reviewing those packets.

Regarding operations, Jones said she would like to see a goal about how the school district will maintain the additional square footage it has acquired during the first phase of the Installment Purchase Plan (IPP).

“I don’t see our maintenance staff being able to operate with how much additional square footage we have, and we need to look at that long term as we integrate that into the budget over the next couple of years,” she said. “Or else we’re going to be sitting with a lot of nice facilities that have gone downhill because we didn’t maintain them.”

Board Chairman Joey Dorton said he would like to see a set of technology goals that could include curriculum integration goals, or to have a specific percentage of students who feel they are proficient with technology.

“Maybe we can have a goal of having this many lessons using technology in a classroom … we’ve never looked at it from a goal point of view, I don’t think,” he said, “other than just a report.”

After a lengthy discussion by board members, which included the suggestion of several more instructional and non-instructional goals, Morgan said he would bring back more information on the proposed goals to be discussed during the next board meeting.

“And I think we should be looking at some shared procurement with the county hospital and city,” Morgan said. “I think that’s something that as a district we could jump right in with those entities and see what we could purchase together. We all have to purchase and we could save a lot … There are lots of things that we can do in collaboration with other governmental entities in Kershaw County that we can push at.”

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