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Snake River works to define direction

September 20, 2012

Snake River trustees took care of business Wednesday evening.
The highlight of the meeting was the comparison of the ranking of schools in the Snake River School District to other schools in Southeastern Idaho. The years that were compared were 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.
Each year, Snake River schools have ranked lower on each list. It doesn't matter the school—high school, junior high, middle school or elementary.
This data is not given to indict anyone but to challenge everyone to use the data to improve, the superintendent said. "We all own exactly where we are right now."
He encouraged the trustees to determine in what direction the school district wants to head. Superintendent Mark Gabrylczyk reviewed the preliminary STAR results of the schools in the district.
If approved by the U.S. Department of Education, STAR results will replace Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results.
On a scale of five, Snake River High School is a four-star school.
Trustee Julie VanOrden is on the executive board of the Idaho School Board Association (ISBA).
The ISBA has come out in support of Proposition One on collective bargaining, VanOrden said.
"The decision was based on the number of surveys that were returned (108 returned out of 115 mailed) and the fact that negotiations went a lot better for every district in the state," she said. "Prop One gives more local control to local boards.
"Without funding [from the state], that we know is not forthcoming, the vast majority of school district cannot return to former contracts," said VanOrden.
There are no continuing contracts for teachers hired in the Snake RIver district after June 2011, so trustees approved one-year contracts for a number of the teachers.
Snake River High School principal Dean Bonney explained that certified personnel employed by the district as coaches have supplementary contracts. Walk-on coaches are paid a stipend.
Trip requests were approved.
The date of the October board meeting has been changed. Snake River trustees will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 24.
The Snake River school board and the district are working on four goals this year. These goals are strategic planning, professional development, curriculum alignment and response to intervention (RTI).
Speaking about strategic planning, trustees were encouraged to think of the mission of the district as trying to set a course as opposed to arriving at a destination.
In professional development, Gabrylczyk said, "We need to look at the data and solve issues that may come up so the district can continue moving forward.

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