Osseo Area School Board reviews, revises strategic priority work statements for 2017-2018

The Osseo Area School Board reviewed and made suggestions for revision of the district’s proposed strategic priority work statements for the 2017-2018 school year at its May 2 meeting.
The district’s priority work statement calls out specific goals for the year beyond the district’s day-to-day educational goals, and acts as a sort of steering mechanism for broad picture district administrator activity, according to Superintendent Kate Maguire.
The district uses its balanced scorecard to measure progress in its priority work. Some priority work, such as that related to standardized testing, is mandated by the state. Other work, such as the new priorities discussed in this work session, are locally determined. Local priority results are proposed based on advice from both administrators, testimony from the district’s advisory groups and feedback from the district’s community outreach efforts.
The district also uses the document as a vital communication tool to relay the district’s goals to staff, students, parents and others, Maguire said.
Four new priority results are proposed for the 2017-2018 school year. The proposed results are as follows: all sites will implement best practices for multilingual learners (English learners) that promote equitable student achievement; students will experience learning that is personalized (in path, place and pace) through the increased us of digital learning tools; middle schools will continue to engage in site-specific, ongoing assessment for program improvement focused on the 16 characteristics of effective middle schools as defined by the Association for Middle Level Education; and implementation of the Enrollment and Capacity Management Framework will lead to increased community trust in the school district and increased understanding of, and engagement in, the enrollment and capacity management process.
Some priority results from previous years have been retained in this proposal. That is, unfinished priority work will be continued until its goal has been implemented throughout the district at a satisfactory level, Maguire said.
Voluntary pre-kindergarten integration was retained as a goal from the previous year. The program was implemented faster than expected, so there is still work to be done, Maguire said.
The status of state funding for pre-kindergarten programs remains unclear, but while Gov. Dayton’s budget called for an increase in funding, the House and Senate proposal as of May 2 eliminates voluntary pre-K funding.
The district has funding for its voluntary pre-K program through 2018.
Maguire said the district will continue its pre-kindergarten programing regardless of state funding levels, but if state funding were completely eliminated, the district may have to switch to a fee-based model, or make other adjustments or reductions to programming.
Goals related to the disproportionate representation of black students in special education, culturally responsive instructional strategies and responding to the influence of race and culture on learning were retained in the proposal.
Based on feedback from families, the district proposed a revised priority statement that said it will “authentically engage and empower families to support their student’s success.” The board raised questions regarding this particular phrase and its meaning. Boardmembers Robert Gerhart and Mike Ostaffe said the phrase was ambiguous and needed clarification.
“We have limits to what we can do,” Ostaffe said.
Boardmember Heather Douglass said the objective is to provide broad support to a variety of issues that families face and the broadness of the language reflected that goal.
“They want support in a variety of ways,” she said.
District administration is revising this goal’s language before bringing the final version to the board for approval.
Ostaffe said that language in the proposal regarding culturally responsive, research-based positive behavior intervention needed to be clarified. He also said he would like to see priority work related to technical and vocational training added to the document.

Contact Kevin Miller at [email protected]