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School Board votes to incorporate seven new goals into original 16

By Bill Short

Millington Schools logoThe Millington School Board voted unanimously this week to incorporate seven new Strategic Goals for the current fiscal year into 16 that it previously adopted.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Chairman Don Holsinger and seconded by Cody Childress.
Goals that the board recently developed are to:
(1) Secure stability in local funding;
(2) Provide multiple, quality educational paths for students, with emphasis on fine arts and career technical education;
(3) Recruit and retain knowledgeable, qualified and caring staff;
(4) Demonstrate fiscal responsibility and accountability;
(5) Engage parents and the community to actively support students and programs;
(6) Provide a state-of-the-art learning environment;
(7) Improve academic performance in all areas.
In March 2014, the board adopted 16 goals in four primary areas:
Instruction
(1) Promote a plan for the organized improvement of school curriculum, including the articulation between elementary and secondary schools;
(2) Provide offerings that explore a wide range of career and service opportunities;
(3) Promote an integration of academic, physical, social and emotional growth experiences for each student;
(4) Promote the recognition of achievement in all endeavors;
Students
(1) Structure the overall instructional program to provide sufficient alternatives to meet a variety of individual needs and aspirations;
(2) Ensure that each student’s interests, capacities and objectives are considered in his/her learning program;
(3) Develop a comprehensive program for disabled students, providing the least restrictive programs;
(4) Help students gain understanding of themselves, as well as skills and techniques in living and working with others and being responsible citizens;
Personnel
(1) Provide high-quality performance by the staff, including both professional and support personnel;
(2) Establish acceptable performance standards for all personnel;
(3) Provide in-service training and professional growth experiences for teachers and administrators;
(4) Maintain an evaluation system for improvement of the instructional system;
Operations
(1) Make every effort to secure adequate funding for the educational program in support of the stated goals;
(2) Maintain an adequate system of fiscal and business management;
(3) Develop plans for the efficient use of school facilities;
(4) Ensure appropriate communication between the superintendent and the board;
The goals will be submitted to Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, and the system’s administrative staff to prepare strategies to implement them. The board will approve the strategies at a future meeting.
During discussion shortly before the vote, board Vice Chairman Greg Ritter said the new seven are “focus goals” for the current year, while the original 16 are “base goals” that underlie the entire school system. He noted that all the goals will be reviewed annually and revised as necessary.
Holsinger said the board will use the strategies to develop a group of “quantitative focus goals” to annually evaluate Roper’s performance.
Roper said the evaluation is based on a “performance instrument” approved by the board that has criteria listed on it. Added to those criteria are specific performance objectives that will be “formally attached” to the evaluation instrument.
Ritter recalled that the board has discussed this at previous meetings.
“If we are going to incorporate some of these things into a superintendent evaluation, we need to get moving on that,” he said. “I would imagine that it’s easier for Dr. Roper to try to meet objectives if we actually give them to him in time to meet them.”
Holsinger said he will work with Roper to prepare a set of goals for his evaluation and present them for approval at the board’s Nov. 2 meeting.
During a Community Meeting conducted earlier on Monday evening, the chairman noted that the board has the annual responsibility of determining the educational goals of the school system.
“We could just do it,” he acknowledged. “But we decided that we want to take input from the community in case we miss something.”
Rhonda O’Dell of 6640 Old Tipton Road said her granddaughter and grandson are currently enrolled at E. A. Harrold Elementary School. She noted that it has already implemented one of her suggestions.
“It has an after-school tutoring program that my granddaughter’s in,” she said. “I’m really glad for that.”
She urged the board to provide teachers’ aides in the classrooms, decrease the student-teacher ratio and raise its expectations to make the school system the best it can be.
Board member Larry Jackson asked O’Dell to get the Shelby County Commission to adopt a capital improvements budget for the county schools.
“If they don’t want to supply one,” he said, “then cut them 10 percent and fund them from last year, so the rest of the school systems can get their money.”
O’Dell, who is District 1 Commissioner Terry Roland’s legislative assistant, said that issue was expected to be on the agenda for a committee meeting scheduled yesterday.
Jackson commended the teachers who volunteer after school and on Saturdays to tutor students.
“I know there are other things they could be doing,” he acknowledged. “They work hard all week, but I have yet to talk to one of them who has complained. They’ve all been excited about trying to help the students to learn.”
Board member Louise Kennon concurred with Jackson’s comments.
“They stay after hours and work,” she noted. “Some of them are there 12 to 14 hours a day in order to accomplish what they’re trying to do.”

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