From the Superintendent's Desk
By Superintendent Leonard P. Lueck
Final Update on School District of Brodhead 2015-16 Goals
Last August the Brodhead School Board identified three goals that they wanted to achieve during the 2015-16 school year. The first District goal was to increase achievement in all areas through a rigorous and balanced curriculum measured by assessments. The District used three different strategies to achieve this goal. Those three were professional development, the use of curriculum management software (Eclipse), and the use of assessment software (Edu Climber).
Professional development was stressed throughout the year. All staff participated in a book study, Maximum Tier One: Improving Full Class Instruction, by Pat Quinn. This started with a shared inservice the first day of school. Pat Quinn presented strategies and techniques that teachers could use in the classroom. After that presentation, each building developed different activities for sharing information from this book throughout the school year. Other areas of professional development included balanced literacy, Smart Board and Smart Notebook training, Google applications, research-based reading instruction, Aims Web, integrating technology into the classroom, school safety, Response to Intervention, and many other conferences that individuals attended.
Teachers were also trained in the uses of the District’s new data management system, which is called EduClimber. All student data is housed in this system and teachers can access it to identify strengths and weaknesses of individual students. This allows teachers to develop interventions that match student needs. The teachers also continued the use of Eclipse which is a software program for the District’s curriculum. The system can identify holes in the curriculum as well as organize what is being taught. Parents will eventually be able to use the program to see the curriculum for individual classes.
The District’s second goal was to continue to engage the community in the direction of our School District. A large portion of this effort was done in regards to the referendum. The Board held three public meetings and met with seven different local organizations during this time. Other activities included a competition for a new District slogan. The eventual winner was “Learning Today for a Better Tomorrow”. Another engagement project was accomplished in late March. A video highlighting many of the great aspects of the District was produced and can be found on the School District’s website. Over the school year, a total of eight articles were submitted to the newspapers. The District also continues to use its Facebook page and District website as methods to engage the community.
The District’s third goal was to continue to seek an appropriate balance between maintaining excellent programs for our students and fiscal accountability to taxpayers. After numerous meetings/discussions, the Board chose to run a $950,000 referendum. This referendum passed in April and will ensure that the District will be able to maintain the current facilities and programs. This referendum also protected the predicted surplus for 2015-16 and adding in the savings from a mild winter, the Board was able to address five facility items identified in the Strategic Plan, plus a number of other smaller items. The Board also chose to take the remaining savings, and possibly a portion of fund balance, to make an extra payment on the District’s debt which will save approximately $17,000 of interest.
Overall, there was a tremendous amount of progress towards achieving the stated goals for the year. The District continues to be proud of the education it provides for the students of Brodhead and looks forward to another successful school year in 2016-17.