Facilities, academics, careers top ROCSD priorities

The Red Oak School Board outlined its priorities during their regular meeting Monday, Sept. 12. 

Superintendent Tom Messinger said the board’s first priority does not impact professional development, but focuses on the district’s long-term facility plan. 

“We’re moving in that direction. We’ve put another piece of that in place with the new maintenance positions. They’re working on their own needs assessment and handling repairs that need to be done in terms of some of the lighting and heating and cooling issues.”

Messinger said that priority was ongoing, with the ultimate goal of having a preventative maintenance plan the district can put together from there. 

“The measure of this one is going to be the final product. It will be based on what buildings we’re using, and what their use is. When there’s an issue, we have them fill out a ticket, and keep track of what we’re doing in maintenance throughout the school year,” Messinger commented. 

After the latest community meeting scheduled Sept. 28, Messinger said they would have an even clearer picture down the road of what the needs are based on the number of buildings the district has in use. 

Work has already been done on the board’s next two priorities, though it remains ongoing. The first priority focuses on academic rigor.

“The teachers said we had gotten away from one of the things the district needed to place focus, which was professional learning communities. Many years ago, teacher quality money was used to send teachers to these learning communities, which taught how to collect data from their own classrooms and use the data to determine what to do next,” Messinger said. 

This year, the teachers said they wanted to have the teacher quality money placed back on those professional learning communities, as some of the district’s teachers have never participated in one.

“Because some of the teachers were left out of that learning, it was felt that collaboration wasn’t as effective as it could be if everyone was familiar with the process that we use,” said Messinger. 

The goal of the priority is to have identified and implemented the essential elements for all students in all classes with assessments showing growth. 

“Every single lesson last year had a learning guide created by the teacher. It was posted in the classroom. The piece that was not completed last year was the assessment piece. This year we’re focusing on measuring learning along the way, rather than the results of a unit test. When we have spot checks along the way, the teachers can determine what students are having trouble and provide them with intervention and help out,” Messinger advised. 

The final priority of the board focuses on the district’s MOC program, reviving academic career planning, and community and school involvement. 

“We had two major career days last year, and we already have dates being picked for this year, and are organizing a list of people to be presenters. We’ve also implemented iJAG, which plays a major role in developing a stronger workforce,” Messinger advised. 

Messinger said the MOC program used to be the only program for students to get out into the career field. Since then, the district has expanded to include the new iJAG program and job shadowing. 

“This is part of the planning we can do to help our students. A lot of them don’t know what’s out there and what the job entails until they can see it,” commented Messinger. 

The board unanimously approved the 2016-17 board goals and priorities.  

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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