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Elmbrook School Board lays out goals and objectives

June 23, 2014

Elmbrook School District students weren't the only ones receiving report cards recently.

The school district graded itself during last week's school board meeting as Emily Greiber, the district's director of data and assessment, gave a presentaton of the district's goals and achievements to the board and the community.

School board goals

The board of education's first goal: maintain a quality curriculum that meets the needs of every student, every time, all the time. One of the district's achievements in this regard included recognizing more than 100 teachers at or above the 90th percentile nationally in terms of their students' growth as shown in measures of academic progress, Greiber said.

The board's second goal involves creating a system of accountability for the district and the superintendent by actively monitoring the progress of the district toward achieving its goals. School officials took a step toward achieving that goal by beginning preparations for a summer Leadership Academy.

Maintaining and expanding Elmbrook's regional, state and national reputation as a premier school district was third on the district's to-do list. An element of this work was to hold its first Accelerated Weekend Experience, a program of Northwestern University, for students in fifth through eighth grade, Greiber said.

And, in an effort to build a sustainable governance model, the district has started several initiatives, including closely monitoring its enrollment management system.

Superintendent's goals

The superintendent's goals in achieving board aims also were scrutinized during the presentation.

The first ongoing goal involves implementing an annual curriculum renewal and design process and providing quarterly status reports. The district was able to get the English/language arts curriculum for the district's middle level approved in June, and its alignment work in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics is taking shape at the sixth- to 12th-grade level, Greiber said.

In addition, the district is implementing an evaluation system for 100 percent of eligible employees that will "inform a compensation system," according to Greiber's presentation.

"Educator effectiveness has been deployed throughout the district," according to the presentation. "All teacher evaluations were completed using the new model. The results of the evaluation will be compiled and analyzed. As part of the implementation, all teachers are required to complete a student learning objective targeting an area of need for their students."

Creating a destination

Greiber said to address the school district's third goal, which focuses on defining Elmbrook as a destination district through an updated strategic plan and balanced scorecard monitoring strategy, the Senior Leadership Council is developing a process that will align the strategic planning process with the budget process.

The fourth goal focuses on improving the district's long-term financial outlook through innovative programming, cost-reduction strategies, legislative advocacy and effective long-range planning.

The preliminary budget for the 2014-15 school year, which was approved May 27, is helping the district align its resources with its top priorities, which include academic growth, college and career readiness, attracting and retaining high-quality staff, and implementing a sustainable business model.

Finally, Greiber said the district is establishing partnerships and alliances that provide the district with a strategic advantage.

During the fourth quarter, Elmbrook School District held the Wisconsin Education Innovations Summer Institute, Northwestern's Accelerated Weekend Experience, and involvement in the Dual Enrollment Academy, which allowed students to pursue a tech certfication in conjunction with Waukesha Community Technical College, and Trace-a-Matic, and CNC machining company.

"The program started by Elmbrook, WCTC and Trace-a-Matic will expand next year to include printing and publishing, and seven students are currently signed up to begin in the fall. Efforts with legislators and state government officials has resulted in grant funding that continues to provide this opportunity to students at no charge to the school district," Greiber said in her presentation.

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