Board: Attracting, retaining staff key |

Board: Attracting, retaining staff key

— The Steamboat Springs School Board earmarked retaining and attracting quality staff, revising negotiated policies and focusing on Colorado Student Assessment Program test scores as priorities Monday.

The 2006-07 strategic plan for the Steamboat Springs School District was updated in June, and Superintendent Donna Howell selected a number of strategies from that plan that she wanted the board to review and give direction on during Monday’s study session.

The volume of issues prompted board members to select certain items they thought were more important or timelier than others.

All board members listed attracting and retaining quality staff at the district’s schools as priorities.

In addition, the board wants to continue discussing CSAP test results and performances by students, teachers and principals. CSAP scores are used when accrediting districts and holding schools accountable for students’ knowledge. The series of tests are administered annually to the district’s third- through 10th-graders in reading, writing and math. Students in fifth, eighth and 10th grades also take a science test.

“We’ve talked before that we’d like to raise expectations across the board,” board member Denise Connelly said. “How that’s done is to have teachers and administrators come to us and share their plans. I’d like it to be a cooperative team approach at a study session.”

Board vice president Jeff Troeger also said he would like a study session dedicated to the CSAPs.

Troeger led the meeting in the absence of former president Tom Miller-Freutel, whose resignation from the board took effect Aug. 28.

Overall, the board would like to see every student test at the proficient to advanced level. Steamboat continues to test above state averages at each grade in each subject.

“I believe you can increase advanced levels on CSAPs,” board member John DeVincentis said. “But I think a lot happens in order to do that. My belief is, if you do certain things, that naturally happens.”

DeVincentis said one of the “things” the district can do is to motivate high-ability learners and provide them opportunities for advanced learning.

No action was taken on any items. Monday’s study session gave board members the opportunity to offer feedback and ask questions about the strategic plan. The next board meeting is Aug. 25.

Graduation requirements, program-based budgeting and alternative compensation plans were selected as items that don’t need to be discussed until the 2007-08 school year.

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