Central Services Facility
NCSD Board of Trustees Report for Aug. 13, 2012
Ninth Grade Transition
During its work session, the board heard an update from leadership at NCHS and KWHS on the 9th grade transition at the two high schools. Professional Learning Communities have been established within the schools to assess curriculum and focus on learning. KWHS Principal Brad Diller told board members that "success comes from teachers making relationships with kids, collaborating with fellow teachers, and recognizing interventions."
Trustees Waive Board Rules to Address Urgent Circumstances
1. Approved two budget requests for CAPS, totaling just over $207,000 for funding CAPS leadership and development to begin integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum.
2. Transfer $10,000 to Facilities Department for the purpose of securing five properties west of NCHS campus.
3. Approved a budget totaling no more than $3,400,000 to acquire 13 properties adjacent to NCHS campus known as Blocks B and C.
4. Approved a plan and budget totaling $150,000 for asbestos abatement and demolition of properties located in Block A acquisition near NCHS.
District Experiencing Record Enrollment
The district is experiencing historic number of kindergartners with 1,200 enrolled and over 12,000 total students enrolled district-wide.
“Our district has never seen numbers like these before,” Dr. Joel Dvorak, superintendent, told the board.
Dr. Mark Mathern, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, reported that with just a week before school starts, 65 students remain unassigned. Teachers at the elementary level have been asked to voluntarily accept an 18th student to help accommodate the increase in enrollment. Superintendent Dvorak told trustees that Cabinet will discuss how to get children assigned to schools.
Dr. Mathern reported that 93% of students received their first choice in the Open Enrollment process.
Schools Show Upswing in PAWS Scores
Overall, Natrona County School District showed improvement from the previous two years on PAWS scores. Each subject area has one grade level where some decline occurred, however these declines are not large, but do provide us with some opportunities for improvement. In math and science while most grade levels show improvement, across grade levels there is an overall decline in the percent proficient and advanced proficient.
Another point in the results that is noteworthy: reading, grades 3-5, the percentage of NCSD students who are proficient and advanced exceeds the percentage of students at the state level that are proficient and advanced. Additionally, in math, NCSD exceeds the state mean in grades 3-6 and in science our 4th graders outperformed the state. Moving into the middle and high school levels, NCSD either is on par with the state or is below the state mean.
Trustees were encouraged to review the data presented and bring forth any questions to the next board meeting.
Policy Discussed Regarding Consultant Services
Trustees reviewed on first reading, Board Policy 3480 – Contractual/Personnel Services. This policy would formalize guidelines for approving contracts for consultant services specifically if the services total more than $25,000, the contract must be first approved by the Board.
Suggested Policy on Elementary School Counselors Discussed
Trustees reviewed Board Policy 5450 – Elementary School Counselors on first reading. This policy would increase the number of counselors in the elementary setting until there is at least one full-time counselor in each elementary school. Until this benchmark is reached, each school shall receive such services at least one full-day a week on the basis of the number of at-risk students enrolled in that school.
Trustees Degenfelder and Sandoval expressed interest in putting this idea to the stakeholders and through a committee process to formulate a plan to move forward. Trustees agreed more work is needed on the proper wording of the policy and shall be reconsidered at the next board meeting.
Design Team to be Chosen for North Casper Construction
Trustees authorized staff to select and negotiate a contract with an architectural team for the design of a new North Casper Elementary School, pending approval from the Wyoming School Facilities Department. Three architectural design teams were interviewed on July 25. Funding for design for the new North Casper Elementary School has been approved by the Wyoming School Facilities Department.
In other board news…
The personnel report was approved. Dr. Dvorak reported that 21 new teachers have been added to accommodate enrollment, in addition 13 new special education teachers have been added.
Bids were approved for bakery items, dairy items, pizza, weekly foods, and ala carte foods.
Ten schools were awarded grants from the Wyoming Department of Education for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for a total of $119,500.
Trustees approved a BOCES grant in the amount of $10,360 to introduce curriculum surrounding engineering on the middle school level.
The Planetarium has received a National Space Grant for the NASA Summer of Innovation to teach middle schoolers to creatively use the Blender 3D game engine to address physics problems during an afterschool program.
The Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board has awarded a $30,000, two year grant for the Casper Mountain Project. This is a project to promote personal growth and learning through a unique partnership of the natural environment, outdoor living and activities and traditional school curricular offerings.
In lieu of the Aug. 27 board meeting, the public is invited to the Community Presentation of the Preliminary NCHS Design on Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the NCHS Auditorium.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Central Services Facility, 970 N. Glenn Road, Casper.