District seeks assessments | SteamboatToday.com

District seeks assessments

Principals, School Board members want plans in place

In other action

The School Board:

Unanimously approved the 2006-07 budget.

Unanimously approved the general fund transfer of $5,500 for temporary salaries in the Food Service Department.

Principals from Strawberry Park Elementary School, Soda Creek Elementary School, Steamboat Springs Middle School and Steamboat Springs High School updated board members with School Improvement Plans.

Discussed the relevance of the Instructional Support Specialist, formerly the Learning Support Specialist. The position is open, and the individual would work 205 days a year.

Discussed the Gifted and Talented and ELL programs.

Tabled discussion of the Harris Poll.

Scheduled interviews and appointment of new board member for the Oct. 23 regularly scheduled meeting at Centennial Hall.

Planned to discuss the board's position on amendments 38 and 39 and Referendum J dealing with the amount of money districts are required to spend in classrooms at Oct. 23 meeting.

— Common assessment tests or plans have been a popular item of discussion for several years, and two Steamboat Springs School Board members are ready for less talk and more action.

Jeff Troeger and Pat Gleason, the two most veteran members of the current board, said at Monday’s meeting that they wanted a timeline for implementation of common assessments.

Common assessments are ways the Steamboat Springs School District tracks the progress of students individually and as a group above and beyond the Colorado Student Assessment Program, or CSAPs.

The CSAPs are the state’s assessment tests.

“I’ve been on the board three years,” Troeger said. “We’ve been talking about doing this since I’ve been here. : Could anyone give me a date in terms of what our goal is to be actually using this, so teachers can sit and look at Jimmy or Julie or whoever it is, and use this data?”

Superintendent Donna Howell said glitches in obtaining a software program, which was a joint purchase with Moffat County School District, is delaying the progress.

Kelly Stanford, district director of curriculum and instruction, said the Tetra Data program and the Scantron Achievement Series are national programs that work well together.

Steamboat’s assessments would be compared to a national database to validate the local results, Stanford said. “It’s a real attractive part of that package.”

Howell said she is expecting to speak with the companies Friday and will take an “aggressive stand that they will follow through with what they promised us,” she said.

There are several district assessments in place for reading, writing and elementary math in Steamboat schools. But building administrators for Steamboat’s two elementary schools, its middle school and high school echoed the sentiments of Troeger and Gleason that additional common assessments would be more helpful sooner than later.

Steamboat Springs High School Assistant Principal Kevin Taulman said the high school ideally would give assessments quarterly to measure students’ progress. By the time CSAPs are administered in the spring, he added, administrators and teachers already would have a good prediction of where students stood.

“I don’t want to rush this forward and end up with bad assessments or poorly conceived assessments when, within a year, we can come up with something,” Gleason said. “But I want to see some progress.”

Stanford assured the board that she and district technology director Tim Miles are focused on getting assessments implemented. Stanford couldn’t give board members an exact time for the implementation of common assessments but expected the CSAP assessments to be usable within a month to six weeks.

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