Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in a work session on April 26, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. at the Middle School Library. Present were:
Amy Amrhein ) Chair
Chuck Keil )
Terry Littleton )
Heidi Parker ) Board Members
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m. by Chair Amrhein.
II. Roll Check
A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.
III. Ashland Quality Education Model for Middle School
Juli Di Chiro gave a PowerPoint presentation on the draft of Ashland’s Quality Education Model for the Middle School and responded to questions.
Individual board members met in small groups with community members to gather input on the middle school prototype.
Below is public input that was gathered from the small group discussions.
Middle School Prototype:
Six to 1 computer ratio; is this a goal we want? What is the rationale behind that ratio?
Have computers in classrooms at all times as well as computer labs.
Classroom computers help writing; some students don’t have computers at home; computers enhance skills beyond word processing.
AMS is set up for portable wireless. (Usually works 2 students to 1 computer).
Class Size: 22 core, 25 electives.
Student Advocate – add another advocate to include a female.
Need more counselors.
Need more student instruction time.
Add volunteer coordinator for TAG and other programs. No cost = win for everyone. Maximize resources – reach out for volunteers.
Some textbooks are on line. Is the dollar figure for textbooks too high? Are the textbooks appropriate for state standards? We have been below standards and working hard to catch up.
Co-curricular – make music electives.
Add TAG coordinator.
Talented and Gifted:
At risk (highest suicide rate)
Highest high school drop out rate
Have a hard time connecting
Group together doing projects – not possible to do during class.
Kids self select – Model UN and Brain Bowl
We’re moving forward – identifying kids.
Pull out doesn’t work. They feel uncomfortable.
Look at structured kids together.
Need resource person to help run these activities – hard for teachers to pull out, provide support.
Use parents more.
These kids get made fun of for being smart.
Consumer Driven Programs:
Look at schools more as businesses.
Develop program to meet needs/requirements of parents.
K-8 model – worry about influence (negative); older kids take on some responsibility for younger.
Like smaller groupings.
Concerns about exposure to older kids.
Drug and Alcohol Program:
Safe, drug free schools. We have local issues to address. Solutions need to be community based. We are above state average for high school students using drugs.
Large School Events:
Variety of options for students – Arts, track, computer science, vocational track.
TAG – variety of ways a student is TAG – Math, Music, Language.
Role of Middle School:
Not to prepare students for high school.
High school needs to teach students how to study and prepare for tests (finals).
K-12 staff development.
AQEM – transitions especially for 5th to 6th and 8th to 9th. Elementary standardization.
AQEM - Middle School
Foreign Language – prior French, German, Japanese, etc. Now Spanish as part of 7/8th grade core. Includes culture, geography, history, etc., in addition to language. Is funded by levy. Any possibility of Japanese and Arabic?
AQEM is K-12 continuity – hard to address only middle school.
K-12 Arts, Dance, Drama, Art.
Music and strings – pullouts for Band/orchestra.
Possibility of K-8 option.
Electives – working toward consistency.
Health and Life Skills
Talented and Gifted – Brain Bowl, competitions, Scavenger Hunt.
Staff development to challenge all learners.
K-8 or 1-8 Program.
Would like to see a K-8 or 1-8 program. First choice for where it would be located would be at an elementary school site. Would consider middle school site. Envisions a Continuous community with clusters of grade levels for skills. Not sure about size, total of 75 students.
Current curriculum materials with enough for students; they can share but should be adequate supply. Increase budgets for this. Goal should be rotating textbooks and updating teaching materials every certain number of years, not dollar goal. When it was suggested that we share more, it was noted that sharing wears out books faster, so it’s a bit of a tradeoff.
Some feel Middle School doing very well to meet needs of students – others have concerns.
Question of meeting needs of “high achievers” is still open – no consensus. Not enough opportunities for TAG kids – don’t forget about them.
More professional development days so teachers can learn how better to teach to different learning styles and levels of learning (differentiation).
Offer private/public partnerships for students on professional development days so that students, as well as teachers, will have an opportunity for enrichment on those days. Use community resources (Science Works, Shakespeare Festival, SOU, Earth Teach Park, YMCA, etc.)
Middle School teams with a focus – either educational style approach (cross graded, single grade, same teacher all 3 years, etc.) or by subjects (arts, science & technology, general, etc.) – differentiate the teams – students choose teams based on interests in subject matter. Same curriculum is taught, but with a different focus, thereby giving students and teachers greater chance to be engaged through their passions. Diverse and open structure to provide more options.
When calling about donations to the ASF, people could also ask for a Volunteer Coordinator – and call for volunteer’s time. Don’t just ask for donation of money to the ASF.
Increase support staff to level of AQEM goals.
Juli Di Chiro reviewed facilities. Comments from the participants included consider life cycle costs, not just the money it takes to renovate a building. It is shortsighted to get rid of elementary sites. It will be hard to convince the community why the district is in land development. The Briscoe site should be sold. Wait until after a bond is addressed, then sell Briscoe if necessary. Talk about family friendly housing rather than affordable housing. Market the community as a great place to raise kids. Have the city representative for affordable housing join the committee brainstorming what to do with Briscoe. It was suggested that we have a meeting in the daytime on a Saturday, to allow time to more fully discuss all these issues with the whole community.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:27 p.m.
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary