Mt. Vernon Register-News

January 17, 2013

D-80 board to hold retreat

By RORYE O’CONNOR
rorye.oconnor@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — The City Schools District 80 Board of Education will use its annual retreat this weekend to discuss important issues for the upcoming school year.

“We try to cover every aspect of the district during the retreat,” said District 80 Superintendent Mike Green. “The board takes a thorough look, and it gives them 10 hours to meet and discuss these items that a lot of times at board meetings you don’t have time to get in depth on.”  

The board will hold in depth discussion of student achievement, curriculum, technology, personnel, finances and facilities during two sessions on Friday and Saturday, Green said.

“We’ll be talking about ISAT scores from last year,” Green said. “Scores have gone up. We’ll be talking about adequate yearly progress and what we’re doing to improve RTI and student achievement, and how we can do better.”

Green said RTI, or Response to Intervention, is a program that helps students kindergarten through eighth grade who are struggling with reading and math by providing them extra time to work on the subjects throughout the day.

“We’ll be reviewing our information and our scores, and how we can do better,” he said.

Dr. Dee Ann Schnautz will provide the board with a report on student achievement in adequate yearly progress, Green added.

Concerning technology, Green said the board will review students’ first full school year working with Asus tablets. There were extra tablets, so the program was expanded to second graders as well this year.

“The kids really like working on the devices,” he said. “They have been very attentive. They really like those, and it has been nice to go down to second grade. When I see the students working on the tablets, they are really engaged.”

He added that District 80 teachers are doing a good job of providing meaningful educational experiences on the tablet computers.

The board will continue its discussion of the district’s buildings, primarily the status and the future of the Casey Middle School construction and renovation project, Green said.

The board will also be discussing options for the Benjamin Franklin Early Childhood Education Center and the former District office on Oakland Avenue, Green said.

He will update the board on the latest information from the state regarding general state aid and pension reform, he said.

“We’ll talk about finances Saturday morning,” he said. “We will look at salary projections. We are on the last year of the teachers’ contract. We will be looking at the district financial profile and the five-year comparison of revenues and expenditures.”