From the Superintendent's Desk
By Superintendent Leonard P. Lueck
End of the Year Update on School District of Brodhead Goals
At the beginning of the school year the Brodhead School Board established two goals that they wanted to accomplish. The first goal was to prepare for the new State mandated “Educator Effectiveness” system. The second goal was to continue to find ways to engage the community. The District has demonstrated progress towards both of these goals and will continue to work on increasing success in both areas. An update on these goals was submitted last January and the purpose of this article is to give an end of the year update on the progress towards achieving our District goals.
There have been a number of activities and training sessions related to the Educator Effectiveness model. Our staff has been working very hard to prepare for this new mandate. The staff viewed a presentation about Educator Effectiveness at the opening day in-service. Since then they have spent numerous hours during staff meetings and other in-services learning about the different aspects of this program. Each staff member had to learn how to write student learning outcomes, professional practice goals, and complete self evaluations and reflections. The staff has also had to view an introduction to the program and complete a training module, which required a certification from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction.
All teachers received licenses for Teachscape, paid for by the State, which is the program that all information will be entered. The District replaced its current evaluation tools with the Educator Effectiveness tools. All teachers completed the new requirements of this program as part of their preparation for full implementation in 2014-15. The teachers that were up for evaluation this year had to follow the new process of observations and complete the different forms required.
The majority of the preparation for this program has been placed on the Educator Effectiveness Team. This team consists of the three Principals, Pupil Services Director, and the Superintendent. The EE team has viewed approximately 70 hours of training videos, attended two conferences, watched three webinars, presented numerous professional development topics to staff, and viewed three different training modules from DPI. The Board viewed a full presentation from the Superintendent at the beginning of the year and has received monthly updates on the progress towards this District goal.
The District was required to submit a grant to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to pay for the Teachscape licenses. The EE team had to take two 3-4 hours tests to become certified to use the Teachscape evaluation process. All five Administrators have passed the tests and are now certified to use this new program. The EE team will be completing another full day of training this summer as well as a readiness assessment tool. The final step will be full implementation in 2014-15.
The second District goal was to continue to work on engaging the community. Brodhead has always had a strong relationship with the community and the Board wanted to foster more growth in this area. Feedback from the community is vital to the success of our school programs and decisions. Many of the activities involving the community are done every year, but they still provide an opportunity for community engagement. We have attacked this goal by trying to bring the community into the schools as well as get our schools out into the community. The January article addressed the activities we had completed in the first part of the year. This article will address what we have done the second part of the year.
There are several activities that have brought the community into the schools. The District held another electronics collection. There were approximately 80 business people that attended the Chamber of Commerce annual banquet at the High School. This group of people was given the message of cooperation between the schools and the community. A partnership was formed between the schools and the Better Brodhead organization. This organization held a Spaghetti Dinner at the High School and there was great participation from staff, Board members and community members. We will continue to work with this group to improve the lives of our children. The Lions also held their annual Pancake Breakfast at the Elementary School. Our students worked with the Lions to help serve and clean during this event. A huge event that created a lot of engagement with the community was our first ever trip to the Girls State Basketball tournament. Due to the efforts of our schools and the community, we were chosen for the State Sportsmanship award. This was a great honor for our District as well as our community. The High School Student Council held their annual Senior Citizen Prom and had over 100 participants. Recently the Middle School held a Reality Maze, Career Day, and a Multi Cultural Day which brought in numerous speakers and community members. There were about 25 business people that participated in the High School Reality Store.
There are also several activities that have brought the schools out into the community. Several of our organizations have helped with the Pearl Island Project. Both our Middle School and High School Bands participated in the annual Memorial Day Program. Our Leos were officially inducted into the Lions organization. This group has worked alongside the Lions and many other organizations in the community to complete a multitude of different activities. The Middle School held another Youth Service Day that saw 65 students go out into the community, as well as at school, to help with projects.
There have been several other ways we have tried to engage the community. The School Board held a Public Meeting to discuss several issues that the schools are dealing with and provide the public an opportunity to address any questions they had. We continue to use social media and our new instant message system to keep people informed. We continue to submit articles to local newspapers concerning our students and the schools. The District has remained actively involved with several organizations in the community including the Chamber of Commerce, Optimist Club, Lions, United Way, Green County Leaders, Green County Death Review Team, Heroin Task Force, and Better Brodhead.
These are just some of the activities that the School District of Brodhead has completed to help accomplish their goals. We are always interested in hearing more ideas from the community. When schedules permit, we would love to become involved with your organization, activity, or attend a meeting. Questions, ideas, or invitations can be sent to Lenny Lueck, Superintendent of Brodhead Schools, or call 608-897-2141.