End of Year Update 2016-2017

District Keeps 20156-2017 Strategic Plan Initiatives Active


The district has been providing key initiative updates during the superintendent's message via email and during board meetings. Here is a look at a year-end update. Quarterly progress updates are provided to the community for those areas to ensure accountability. The following topics represented key initiatives in 2016-2017:

Instructional Strategies
During the first semester, teachers at all six buildings have focused on learning goals, learning activities, procedures/routines, and methods to strengthen teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships. In the second semester, that focus expanded to include analysis of text across all content areas.  The professional development session in April will provide practice with strategies related to inquiry and problem-based learning.Program Review

In-Depth Program Review
In the departments of science and health/physical education, the in-depth program reviews were completed and presented to the Academic Achievement Committee on June 5, 2017, during the school board planning meeting. The in-depth program review process is designed to take a deeper look at program structures, sequences and opportunities. The overarching goal of the program review is to improve the opportunities for students and collectively take a step toward an ideal future. A small representation of the department vertical teams was organized by sub-committee to gain insight into potential recommendations for improvement (e.g., research/trends, exemplary programs, college/business/workforce connections and data/information analysis). After a comprehensive review, both internal and external findings were documented for each of the emerging recommendations. You can view the presentation (Science, Health & Physical Education) and more indepth review of Health & Physical Education.

Standardized Assessment/Universal Screener
Earlier in the year, the committee's recommendation to implement STAR 360 and CogAT 7 was approved by the board. These universal screeners will start in 2017 - 2018 and replace several existing tests (e.g.,  AIMSweb and Fountas & Pinnell, and CDT). The three primary factors considered in the recommendation were time, stretch, and utility. The district is creating the transition plan for these assessments. STAR 360 will be administered three times annually in the fall, winter, and spring to all students in kindergarten through sixth grade. STAR 360 will be administered initially to grades seven for one year to study the benefits. Additionally, students receiving interventions in grades 7-12 will be assessed to assist with progress monitoring efforts. The CogAT 7 will be administered in the fall to students in second and fifth grades. These tools will help to provide data to teachers, shaping the instructional decisions to meet individual needs. Read more about the recommendations.

Technology Integration
Given the improvements in technology infrastructure in the past 18 months and replacement of many devices, the focus has shifted to technology integration. Staff members will have multiple opportunities to increase competency and skill in a variety of areas (e.g., curriculum resources, interactive display boards, Google Apps, Google Classroom, SAMR model and other web resources). The Technology Leadership Council strongly knows that teacher confidence and competency is a critical in the effective integration of technology as a tool for student learning.

Evaluation & Performance-Based Feedback
The district continues to focus on the hiring, onboarding, orientation/induction and evaluation processes.The focus has shifted to the induction plan and "new teacher academy" component of this initiative. The district gathered feedback from hires about various aspects of the interview, selection and orientation processes. The framework a new teacher academy is being finalized and will  be utilized with all new teacher hires  to ensure an effective transition to PRSD.

Long-Range Budget & Capital Funding Plan
The budget process for Pine-Richland School District is focused on a multi-year planning approach.  The two primary goals are:

  • Continued excellence in educational programming and opportunities for student engagement inside and outside the classroom.
  • Continued operational efficiency with a ten year capital projects plan that preserves and improves district / community assets without incurring additional debt.

Following many years without a tax increase, the district approved a modest tax increase for 2017- 2018.  This will address long term goals.  By continuing to focus on planning for future capital items, the district has identified significant cost projections and is working collaboratively in advance to plan financially for how these projects will impact annual budgets. More refined long term planning allow for targeted revenue sources to be accumulated or assigned within fund balance over time (e.g., incremental tax increases, grants, donations fundraising, etc.). As a result, the school district will be able to lessen dependence on debt instruments and ultimately reduce the overall cost of the project to the taxpayer by not incurring additional costs for borrowing.