Board of Education to Vote on District Improvement Plan – | Team Cansler

The Warren County Board of Education is scheduled to hold its business/working session on Tuesday, November 22 at 6 p.m. at Warren County Middle School, Dr. 118, Warrenton, on a proposed district improvement plan.

The Board of Education has approved improvement plans developed by individual schools. Superintendent Keith Sutton described these plans as outlining each school’s work to improve student performance.

He previously noted that the Warren County school system, like the school system statewide and nationwide, continues to work to recover from months of distance learning when students were away from the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most schools in the Warren County District met the growth standards as measured on the 2021-22 School Year Report Card released earlier this school year by the State Department of Public Instruction/State Board of Education. However, most district schools had low academic achievement grades. As in many other school systems, Warren County student test scores remain below 2018-19 levels. Sutton and the DPI have described this decline as an ongoing impact of the pandemic.

When the school reports were released, the Department of Public Instruction said it linked the decline in student performance to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, and said this year’s results confirm a forecast made in an analysis by the DPI earlier this year Office of Learning was created to recover and accelerate that many North Carolina students will need months to years of additional study time to fully recover due to the months to years of disruption caused by the pandemic.

These disruptions were also associated with an increase in the number of schools and school districts in North Carolina that were classified as underperforming. Some news sources have reported that one in three schools in the state has been classified as underperforming. Warren County results reflected state trends. However, steps are being taken to help students and schools recover.

Warren County Schools are already implementing a strategic plan aimed at achieving 80 percent student achievement by the end of the 2027-28 school year by increasing 10 percentage points each year. In addition to addressing classroom-related areas, the plan also addresses the mental and emotional health of students, teachers and other staff to help them recover from trauma related to the pandemic.

The proposed District Improvement Plan expands on the current ongoing effort to provide a more detailed picture of what that effort will entail.

The plan, presented to the Warren County Board of Education earlier this month, calls for strong partnerships between school and county-level educators.

The work includes a detailed examination of performance data from last year’s test scores along with benchmark tests and other resources used to measure student progress throughout the year. Educators can use the data to set goals for the current school year.

The district will also use district pacing guides and standards-based curriculum guides to support teachers. These guides, designed to create consistency across the school district, are used in scheduling lesson planning meetings and identifying research-based lesson resources. School system staff will also conduct learning tours of schools and provide feedback to help teachers continue to improve.

The plan also emphasizes a focus on tailoring instruction to the needs of individual students. The school system operates on a blended learning environment that includes small group instruction, independent opportunities, and collaborative groups. The plan indicates that students know their individual achievement levels and desired achievement goals.

The use of technology in the classroom will continue to be important as Warren County Schools prepare for the future. The school system is working to equip all classrooms with additional digital resources to support the core curriculum at all grade levels, with the goal of teachers and students having equal access to digital devices. Computer-based teaching resources are used to enable student-centered learning.

The school system will continue to focus on recruiting and retaining school staff, including partnering with colleges and universities to hire teachers and offering signing bonuses to new teachers. The plan calls for school principals to be the heads of human resources for their schools. The hiring process will follow the steps set out by Human Resources, but the school principal makes the final decision and recommendation to the school system. The ultimate goal will be to fill all positions in the school system and ensure that all students are taught by highly qualified teachers.

Warren County Schools also work to develop and maintain a comprehensive professional development plan focused on district-wide teaching and learning initiatives.

In addition, the school system plans to recruit, train, support, and place staff to address problems in schools that need improvement.

Other steps Warren County Schools are taking include establishing a district improvement team, hiring additional social workers, and hiring leadership coaches to support principals. The school system is also working to form advisory teams for school leaders.

Sutton told the board that he was “proud, encouraged and excited” about the improvement plans presented by each school’s principals and he also looks optimistically to the future with the implementation of the district improvement plan. Responsibility and accountability are at the heart of this plan.

“We’re trying to change the culture,” Sutton said. “We create a culture of accountability.”

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