Eighty percent of Campbell County students must score proficient or above on the statewide tests in reading, writing and math by 2015, under a set of goals reviewed by Campbell County school trustees Thursday.
Students and staff also will improve in wellness under the goals established by more than 1,000 Campbell County parents, teachers, support staff, administrators and residents over the past four months as part of an organizational assessment.
The proposals reviewed by trustees in a special meeting, were the 10th draft of the goals, values, mission and vision for the school district.
The work will replace a place mat created 15 years ago of the district’s vision and mission. But after completion of that place mat, it was never revisited or reviewed, trustee Anne Ochs pointed out.
This new 8x11-inch sheet will be reviewed by trustees at least three times a year and revised every three years, under plans unveiled by Superintendent Richard Strahorn.
“This is a living document that we’ll reuse as we change,” Ochs said. “That truly was a place mat, not a living document. I think this is a road map. It’s not a place holder,”
Once approved by trustees — that’s expected to occur in their Aug. 28 meeting — the document will be given to every school district employee and will chart a course for the future. It also will be added to the district’s website.
Trustees plan to review the document in their July 18 meeting.
“Basically, we used this as a three-year plan,” said Boyd Brown, associate superintendent of instruction. But there is one exception among the academic goals.
The goal in science
The district wants students to achieve 80 percent success in science by 2017.
“Our science assessment is very rigorous,” Brown explained. “Since the test has barely started (on science), we wanted to give it a couple more years.”
He also noted that the state of Wyoming scored low in science — with just 51 percent of students showing proficient or advanced knowledge in that topic. Campbell County’s average was closer to 45 percent.
Yet, under a different test, Wyoming ranks near the top in the nation in science knowledge.
“Either the (national) test is easy or the test in Wyoming is way hard,” Strahorn said. “We’ll improve those (scores), but something’s out of kilter with that.”
Brown said the district needs to make sure its science instruction is aligned with the statewide test. And right now, the entire assessment system for Wyoming is up in the air with the Legislature’s accountability regulations and the state’s adoption of common core standards.
Still, the district is beginning to address that issue. Teachers will be given a lesson in the science standards Aug. 16-17 as part of their in-service before school begins, said Steve Fenton, assistant superintendent for curriculum and assessment.
They’ll also be focusing on the adoption of the new math program before school starts.
No matter what the goals are, if the district reaches those levels, the challenge will increase, Brown added.
“This is a working document and if things change, we have to adjust to that. It’s not written in stone and each year we’ll work on it.”