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Board Briefs - January 24, 2023

  • The Board Briefs are highlights from the most recent Board of Education meetings. The purpose of the Board Briefs is to provide a timely summary to keep our staff, parents and public informed of the key items that were discussed or acted upon. More detailed information is available under the Board Schedules, Agendas and Minutes section of the District’s website. Official minutes are not posted until approval at the following meeting.

    Presentation Regarding Student Learning and Academic Growth
    To provide the Board with an overview of our academic progress, several teachers and administrators shared details regarding the academic growth of our students, as well as some of our interventions and efforts to support our students in the areas of math and reading.

    Concord Assistant Principal Katie Doyle shared an overview of student growth on the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment compared to national norms. At every grade level, our students are above national norms, and almost always significantly so. The most important use of the data is to identify areas of need, target professional development, use the discussions to inform instruction, establish student growth goals, and analyze the patterns to improve student achievement.

    Concord math interventionist Karen Mosquera presented on Response to Intervention (commonly referred to as RtI or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) interventions and growth in the area of math. This included a deeper dive into data from the district’s IXL program, as well as NWEA MAP scores. Reading specialists Christy Sells and Courtney Cozzolino presented RtI data in the area of reading. This included more information on what RtI is, the five essential components of reading and how each of these components are assessed. They shared samples of assessment data for letter sounds at kindergarten and informal decoding for grades 1 through 4.

    Over the course of the coming spring and going forward, the district will provide some additional background information for these kinds of test scores to parents so that they can better understand what is provided in these individual reports, as well as who to reach out to in the district with questions.

    Public Hearing for Bidding Transportation Services
    The Board of Education continued its discussion related to the challenges with providing student transportation services and the inability to secure new drivers, a problem facing school districts across the country. As the school district struggles to replace drivers who retire or move on, Superintendent Mark Cross has shared with the Board the concept of contracting our regular routes with a private entity, while utilizing our current drivers for special routes.

    He stated that there are several advantages to flipping the current model, including retaining our own drivers, avoiding having to replace equipment that is becoming more expensive to maintain, and tapping into the potential services of private contractors since they are utilized among most districts in the area. Contracted special transportation services are also very expensive, and using our current drivers for this service could be a safer and more cost-effective model. Mr. Cross also noted that going through the public bidding process does not obligate the district to outsource transportation, but it will help determine the best course forward.

    While the Board had previously authorized Mr. Cross to pursue the bidding process to determine the next steps and make recommendations, the Board also established a special meeting and public hearing to be held on Tuesday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the District Community Room at Cass Junior High School. This will be held immediately prior to the regular monthly meeting scheduled in the same room that evening at 7:00 p.m.

    In Key Action Items, the Board of Education… 

    • Approved recommended Board policy updates.
    • Approved the release of certain closed session minutes and the destruction of verbatim recordings of closed session meetings prior to June 30, 2021.
    • Approved a leave of absence for speech pathologist Jessica Andujar.
    • Approved the employment of Hajar Cummings as Concord Elementary teacher assistant.
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