Board adds two goals for this school year
The New Albany-Plain Local school board voted Aug. 27 to add two goals to the five already adopted for this school year.
The two new goals, which apply specifically to the board, are:
* To make every effort to inform the community of the facts and the importance of the successful passage of the combined operating levy and bond issue on the Nov. 6 ballot.
* To continue board development and continuous improvement with a second professional development work session before July 2013.
Board members said they felt showing support for the ballot issue and helping to inform the community is an important goal for the district.
The ballot issue combines a 2.59-mill bond to generate $45,120,442 and a 4.24-mill, continuous levy to generate $3,510,767. The bond issue will allow the district to construct a building for 1,200 students and spend $11.4 million for site improvements. The operating levy will prevent a fiscal deficit in 2015.
The total cost to property owners would be $209.24 annually per $100,000 of assessed property value.
The other goal was created in part to the overall response from the board's Aug. 25 retreat, at which board members learned the results of an individual evaluation and overall board assessment compiled by Bill Reimer of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.
"I think we found that we are much in alignment with our perception of our performance as a board," said board Vice President Laura Kohler. "The response was very positive and we see ourselves as good to excellent.
"But there is an outstanding category (which is the highest rating), so we also see room for growth."
The district's previously approved five goals for this school year are:
* To reinvent teacher evaluations based on state standards.
* To engage the community and students to improve the school's culture.
* To improve communications so community members feel informed and engaged.
* To improve student achievement, using the Common Core State Standards Initiative and national and international benchmarks.
* To focus on global and international studies, including use of the International Baccalaureate program and the addition of more world language classes.
During the retreat, the board also reviewed board protocols, which provide a structure for governance, communication and improvement.
The board decided to keep all protocols related to governance, which require the board to "seek and support solutions that will provide the greatest benefit for the district"; acknowledge meetings are held in public and are effective and efficient; oversee the superintendent's hiring and evaluation of personnel; realize that a quorum means a majority of members; acknowledge that board members can serve on superintendent's committees; and interview school board candidates applying for appointment and choose someone who "will advocate for the schools in the community."
The board will remove two protocols related to the superintendent's duties, which, Kohler said, do not belong under board protocols.
The board also decided to add a new protocol under communications, which will restrict the use of electronic devices during board meetings. Kohler said it will ensure board members' full attention at meetings.
The other communication protocols are to promote a positive school image while maintaining confidentiality when necessary; proactively communicate with the superintendent; limit meeting discussions to agenda items unless otherwise determined by the board president or superintendent; request items be placed on an agenda through the superintendent; refer community questions to the appropriate school official; and funnel information requests through the proper channels.
The protocols for board improvement are to participate in formal training for school boards; participate in the board orientation session; set aside time for evaluation of the superintendent, treasurer and board; honor the protocols; and regularly review board progress.