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July 20, 2010 > New Haven Schools board briefs

New Haven Schools board briefs

Submitted By Rick La Plante

The Board of Education recently received a "State of the District" update from the Division of Teaching & Learning.

Chief Academic Officer Wendy Gudalewicz told the Board that the Division devised actions and sought outcomes based on the Seven Essentials for Continuous Growth and Improvement, part of the Strategic Plan update adopted by the Board in the spring of 2009. The District focused in 2009-10 on three of the Essentials: providing District-wide instructional foci, using data to inform instructional and professional development decisions, and learning and using research-based instructional practices.

A few of the highlights:

All schools formed teacher-majority Instructional Leadership Teams, identified and implemented school-wide instructional expectations and adopted instructional intervention plans based on ILT reviews of assessment data.

District-wide, according to Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessments, there was stronger than average growth in reading. From spring 2009 to spring 2010, the percentage of students meeting growth targets in language increased in every elementary grade. And from fall 2009 to spring 2009, the percentage of students meeting growth targets in mathematics increased in every grade tested, from second to ninth.

District-wide, there was a 25 percent decrease in suspensions and expulsions.

Highlighting the District's efforts to close the achievement gap, there was a dramatic increase in the number of Latino and African-American students who registered in the spring to take Algebra I in middle school this fall. Only 80 Latino and 32 African-American students were enrolled in such courses at Alvarado Middle and Cesar Chavez Middle in 2009-10; there are 314 Latino and 101 African-American students enrolled for 2010-11.

The District is awaiting state test results to determine whether it reached several other goals: a five percent increase in proficient and advanced reading scores in Grades 2-5; a five percent improvement in scores on seventh-grade writing tests; and a 10 percent increase in proficient and advanced English scores in ninth grade.

Also the Board:

Approved a School Facility Needs Analysis that enables the District to continue levying a secondary fee on residential construction.

Approved an expanded lease agreement with Mission Hills Middle School for use of classrooms at the former Barnard-White Middle School campus, bringing $104,544 in gross revenue to the District. A motion to approve a new lease with Northstar School, worth $81,312, died for lack of a second.

Approved a lease agreement with Cingular Wireless for an antenna site at James Logan High School, including a one-time payment of $8,000 and annual revenues of $21,000.

Approved a change in the Board meeting schedule for 2010-11, to include a March 29, 2011 meeting in place of the meeting originally scheduled for April 5, 2011.

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