Thursday, December 26, 2013

Grandview District Grows by 300 Students in Three Years

By Mary Wilson
The Grandview School Board began their meeting last Thursday, December 19 by honoring a student for her artwork on display in the board room at central office. Hope Butler, a third-grade student at Belvidere Elementary School, is the final artist to be recognized for her work on display. The board also recognized Grandview Pro-Start students who participated in the Sodexo Culinary Throwdown competition against Center and Belton on December 4.

During Superintendent Dr. Ralph Teran’s report to the board, he noted the increase in enrollment in the district. According to Teran, the growth is predominately at the early-elementary level and at the high school level, with nearly 200 new students this year alone.

“We have grown in our district,” said Teran. “We’ve grown by approximately 300 students in the last three years. If the trajectory of 100 kids per year continues, we will begin to really experience some concerns.”

The main concern for the district is available space. Two schools in the district are at or near capacity, Martin City’s elementary portion and Meadowmere Elementary. Teran noted that with the use of technology in the classrooms, teachers have come to use space in new and different ways.

“We need to look in the future at the possibility of adjusting some boundaries,” said Teran. “In some districts that are growing, every year they have to do that. It’s just normal.”

Teran acknowledged the sensitive manner of the possibilities of changing the elementary school boundaries in the district. Community input meetings will be held before decisions are made, possibly in January or February of 2014.

Also at the meeting, the Board received a report on the evaluation of the district’s technology program. District programs are evaluated annually to determine progress towards meeting goals and make recommendations for improvement. These evaluations are summarized and formalized through Board presentations for compliance with Missouri School Improvement Program requirements.

The goals and recommendations of the evaluation, presented by Scott Sizemore, were to explore ways to increase the number of staff members who attend voluntary technology professional development sessions and to continue efforts to increase accessibility to high-quality instructional technology resources, tutorials and training materials in an effort to provide professional learning. The department would also like to continue to expand available technology professional development, and develop a model that better supports individual training needs.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Lisa Walker presented an update to the Board on the Quinpoint School Improvement Process system. Quinpoint provides a systemic delivery of a guaranteed and viable curriculum, utilizes walk-through and observation tools with clearly defined indicators and rubrics, maximizes academic learning time, monitors student achievement, and promotes a culture and climate conducive to learning and developing professional practices.

According to the report Walker provided, administrators and instructional coaches received training on the Quinpoint Building Walkthrough (BWT) tool in September/October, 2012, and implementation of the BWT tool began in October, 2012. School Improvement Teams (SITs), comprised of site administrators, the instructional coach, and the District Improvement Team (DIT) member, meet weekly to discuss the data to identify goals, inform instruction, and guide strategic development and implementation of professional development at the site level. The District Improvement Team (DIT) meets weekly to review district and site-level data to inform instruction and guide strategic development and implementation of professional development at the district level.

“Following the observation, teachers are provided with feedback on instruction related to the respective observation tool,” said Walker.

Finally, administration proposed to the Board the issuance of $5 million of General Obligation Bonds to fund improvements to district facilities. These bonds would mature from March 1, 2021, through March 1, 2024, and contain an average interest rate of 2.63%. The total interest expense on these bonds, if they run to maturity, would be $1,175,425.69. The Board then unanimously approved the issuance of the bonds.

The next regular meeting for the Grandview School Board is Thursday, January 16 at 6:00 p.m.

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