BREWER SCHOOL COMMITTEE
6:00PM, Monday, January 4, 2016
Brewer High School Lecture Hall
1. School Event Recognition: Band and Choral Concerts
Just wanted to take a moment and recognize our choral director Heather Macleod, Brady Harris, and Lanissa Nadeau for their remarkable talent and efforts with our children in the Brewer School Department. I attended all music events prior to the Holiday Break and each left me wanting more and anticipating what I would hear the next week. The students and parents are to also be commended for the time they put in practicing and bringing their students to the early morning rehearsals and practices. Their performances certainly put me in the holiday spirit!
2. Strategic Planning Update
We spent approximately twelve hours of time contacting prior committee members searching for a strategic plan that may have existed in 2011. After speaking with a few committee members and reviewing all school committee minutes from 2011 through 2015, we have determined the following:
March 10, 2011 Curriculum Audit Report, moved to receive by SC
December 5, 2011 Table approval of Strategic Planning Committee to January 2012
January 9, 2012 Nomination/approval of SP committee
August 16, 2012 Workshop meeting on Mission & Vision led by Mr. Jeff Walstrom
November 1, 2012 Approved first reading of Policy AD- Mission & Vision
November 5, 2012 Approved second reading/adoption of Policy AD – Mission & Vision
February 4, 2013 Moved to receive Brewer High School Strategic Plan (5-year)
September 9, 2013- October 7, 2013 Mr. McIntire reported on the progress of his draft Strategic Plan (District Improvement Plan)
February 3, 2014 Mr. McIntire proposed a work session to continue toward completion of
October 6, 2014 Mr. Leithiser presented the Brewer Community 4-year plan, which will be in line to end with the high school 5-year plan
March 12, 2015 Workshop on District Improvement Plan
What is next? Now that the School Committee has given the charge to form a strategic planning team on December 7, 2015, this team will be formed. A survey monkey has been developed and a one-call will go out to our parents and teachers this week together information and form our team. Prior committee members will be called first to see if they would like to continue the work they started. Our first meeting will be on January 28. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. This agenda also contains the dates of all future meetings.
3. Budget Process Update
Gretchen Gardner and I have met to review the budget process and where we are with salaries and benefits compared to this year. With all contracts signed, this year we actually have some firm numbers when it comes to salaries. With steps and 2% percent increases and a ten percent increase budgeted for insurance we are estimating an increase $668,446. This is not unusual at this stage in the budget. This week I will be presenting to BCS and we will also be starting the request process through teachers. Administrators will have their building studies to me by January 11th. The BHS presentation was held on January 11th. The budget timeline can be found here.
4. Policy Review List and Timeline
The Maine School Management Association lists the policies that are required by all school districts. After a thorough review of the policies, a required list with our current needs has been supplied. The missing policies will be our first priority. We will then review outdated policies that need updating. Please see the policy review list in your packets.
5. ESSA Overview (Every Student Succeed Acts)
New Education Law Reduces Federal Reach President Obama signed into law on Dec. 10 a replacement for the unpopular and ultimately unworkable law that was known as No Child Left Behind, putting more control in the hands of states and school districts and preserving the local governance authority of local school boards. The vote was 85 to 12 in the Senate and 359 to 64 in the House.
Now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the law updates what was officially called the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which essentially defines the federal government’s role in K-12 The ESSA goes in a distinctly different direction than NCLB, which set achievement goals for all schools and labeled them as “failing” when they didn’t make the required progress toward 100 percent proficiency for all students in reading and math. The new ESSA limits the federal government’s role and pushes decision-making around accountability to the state and individual school districts. Standardized state tests are still part of the picture, but other factors will be considered, like school-climate and teacher and student engagement. States would still have to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school, but get wide discretion in setting goals and determining how to hold schools and districts accountable. States would still have to identify their lowest 5 percent performing schools, and identify schools where subgroups, including children in poverty, are underachieving. The difference is the federal government no longer would prescribe interventions in those schools. That would be a state and local decision. The U.S. DOE also would no longer have a say in how teacher evaluations are to be conducted.
A primer published by Education Week just days before the House vote outlined key initiatives in the proposal and the difference between current law and the old ESEA and NCLB waivers.
States would still have to submit accountability plans for approval to the U.S. DOE. These new ESSA plans would start in the 2017-18 school year.
States would set the rules around teacher evaluations. Maine’s system is in state statute and currently is in its pilot year.
Gone is the now outdated requirement to get all students to proficiency by a date certain – a system that created so called “failing schools” under NCLB.
States can pick their own goals around proficiency and graduation rates, but must set an expectation that groups furthest behind close gaps.
States have to identify and intervene in the bottom 5 percent of performers, and these schools have to be identified at least once every three years.
States have to identify and intervene in high schools where the graduation rate is 67 percent or lower.
States must identify schools where subgroup students are struggling. Subgroups include English learners, students in special education, racial minorities and those in poverty.
For elementary and middle schools there must be at least four indicators.
That includes three academic indicators: proficiency on state tests, English-language proficiency, plus some other academic factor like growth on state tests.
New is the requirement that at least one non-traditional indicator must be included like student engagement, educator engagement, access to and completion of advanced coursework, post-secondary readiness, school climate/safety, or others proposed by the state.
For high schools the indicators are proficiency on tests, English-language proficiency, graduation rates, plus at least one other indicator that focuses a little more on whether students have the opportunity to learn, or are ready for post-secondary work.
For the bottom 5 percent of schools and for high schools with high dropout rates, districts will work with school staff to come up with an evidenced-based turnaround plan and the state will monitor the effort. If schools continue to founder for no more than four years, the state can step in with its own plan.
For schools where subgroup students are struggling, the schools have to come up with an evidenced-based plan. If problems persist, the district steps in. For chronic underperformance within subgroups – defined as scores as bad as the bottom 5-percent schools- the district and state have to step in.
Thank you to the MSMA for providing a thorough summary of ESSA.