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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
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News of Mason County, WA
Mason County Journal
March 18, 1971     Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 18, 1971
 

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Page 16 - SURVEY PIONEER SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 402 Shelton, Washington February 1971 Surveys of school district educational programs are conducted by the staff of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction at the request of local school districts. The purpose of this report is to inform local school officials of the survey findings. STATE OF WASHINGTON SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION Donald Hair Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction St__aff Participants Staff members participating in the survey of educational programs in the Pioneer School District are as follows: Mr. James Click, Supervisor of Migrant Education (Chairman) Mrs. Helena Adamson, Assistant Director of Special Education Mr. Charles Blondino, Supervisor of English Language Arts Mr. Elden Egbers, Supervisor of Mathematics Programs Mr. Robert Groeschell, Director of Elementary Education Dr. Lois Roth, Supervisor of Elementary Education Mr. Dike Willoughby, Consultant of Facilities and Organization, Division of Administration and Finance I. Introduction The Superintendent of Public Instruction offers the school districts of the State of Washington the unique service of evaluative surveys of educational programs. These surveys are undertaken on request from the district. There are times when school personnel desire to supplement their local evaluation endeavors by using an outside group. Such a service is available from the State Office on a limlted basis, usually at the rate of about one per month. This schedule is in keeping with the amount of time that can be devoted to such evaluations. As a result of a request by letter from the Board of Directorsof the Pioneer School District, the Superintendent of Public Instruction arranged for a survey of the Pioneer School. After preliminary meet- ings with the school staff and the Directors, the survey was scheduled and conducted on February 9, 1971. The Directors indicated that their interest in a survey was primarily motlvated by a desire to determine whether the program offerings at Pioneer are up to standard as oompared with other elementary schbols in the area and whether the programs are articulated with the program at Shelton, where the children from thePioneer District attend secondary schools. The Directors also wished to have recommendations concerning the trlsest use of funds available to the District, and how best to maintain the physica! school plant. A. Th_._% Va ditT_ of th..% Survey The bases of Judgaent are many. There is no sln81e universal standard for evaluating school districts. The survey team uses several techniques which they have developed. The first criteria of evaluation are the personal experiences of the survey team members. Their experiences at all levels of school operation and their depth of academic preparation give them a sub- stantlal degree of expertise. In addition, they have visited literally thousands of classrooms in their educational careers. They have performed surveys of eighty school districts since 1961. A waJor aspect of the survey credibility is based upon the Judgment and experience of knowledgeable people. Since there is no recognized single standard for evaluatln8 school districts, the survey team utilized existing standards which attempt to asure some coaponents of school districts. For exaaple, are standards for libraries and learning resource centers, health and safety, size of site, etc. Some organizations, such a8 the Washlngton Elementary School Principals' Association, have developed guidelines for evaluating schools. National Stoups, such aS the National Council for Teachers of English, have reconended standards. The state staff utilized these guidelines and standards when and w ere, in their Judgment, it was appropriate to do so. In additioh, there are state laws which are applied as a basis of me4mure, such as the requirement of the daily twenty minutes of physical education instruction for children, K-8. The third major basis of Judgment is the one of examining common practices. A large number of statistics is available to the survey group that reflects common or normal practices throughout the State. S Jlto Mason County Journal- Thursday, March 18, 1971 / In addition, these statistics also indicate norms or averages. In some instances, the district will be compared with the rest of the State, sometimes with comment, but many times only for informational purposes. In summary, there are three elements behind the recommendations and commendations of this report: the experience and judgment of well- qualified people; recognized standards established by the State of Washington and professional organizations; and a comparison with the common denominator of state norms. B. Limitations of the Survey Surveys are a free service. Such service is offered in the belief that analysis of educational effectiveness in a district is basic to intelligent progress. Surveys are not the only major function of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, however, and there- fore must be scheduled in addition to the many other jobs and responsibilities of the Division's personnel. For this reason, there is a very real limitation of time. Evaluators try to schedule enough time to the survey process so that the District receives considerable help. Evaluations of the survey procedure have indicated that the major source of weakness is in the time factor. Any imbalance in the survey team's visit to teachers was not planned, hut may have occurred as a condition difficult to control by either the school or the team. It is hoped that enough personnel were contacted and that the contacts were meaningful. These interviews, plus all other procedures that were followed, generally will produce survey results that reflect major concerns and interests. Some readers of this report may be concerned that no evaluation of the personnel's professional performance was either undertaken or reported. To them, this would constitute a deficiency. However, it was clearly established that personnel ratings would not be a part of this survey. Such an undertaking is not in keeping with the traditions of the Superintendent's Office. It is highly unreal- istic to assume that such ratings could be accurately determined in a very brief period of time. II. Present Status and Potential of the District The assessed valuation of the Pioneer School District for the 1971 tax-collection year is $16,973,841.00. The District's physical plant and grounds consist of one main building, a multipurpose building, and a bus garage located on a site consisting of eleven and four-tenths acres. The district also owns two one-acre sites on Hartstene Island. One of these sites is unimproved; the other has a school building located on it which was built in 1922. This building is no longer being used for school purposes, but is being utilized as a service center for the Hartstene Community Club. The original Pioneer Elementary building was constructed in 1953 and consisted of four classrooms. In 1958, a multipurpose room was added. In 1966, ~, an addition~, ~ o~ thr~, c~as~roomswas, built, consisting of a specla! purpose classroom for~@n expanded program for science, arts, and crafts; a health unit; a teachers' room; a workshop; and two toilet rooms. In 1970, a service area was added for storage. The District has five school buses: a 1956 46-passenger International; a 1966 67-passenger Ford; a 1968 73-passenger GMC; a 1959 73-passenger Ford; and a 1965 8-passenger Dodge. A new five-bay bus garage is currently under construction, and it is nearing completion. The Dis- trict is to be commended for providing facilities for the protection of the bus fleet. Themain classroom building seems to meet general fire and safety requirements. The building is poorly maintained, with below-standard lighting in many of the classrooms and the library. There are several broken panes of glass in windows which have been patched with tape and are unsightly. Some tile is broken in the walls of lavatories. There is a noticeable amount of writing on the walls in the lavatories which should be removed. The school enrolls approximately two hundred students in grades K-7. The elghth-grade students attend school in Shelton. Some rooms show evidence of teacher-and-pupil participation in providing bulletin boards which are instructional and attractive. Some rooms have displays with students' work attractively arranged. Housekeeping in some classrooms is very poor and shows a lack of motivation for maintaining attractive and orderly surroundings. Several of the desks are in poor repair, some having loose c unters-- especially in the upper grades. It is also noted that some students are using seats that are of improper size. Some shortage of textbooks is realized. As new students are enrolled, teachers are unable to find all necessary textbooks. The teaching staff is well qualified by training and experience. Most members express an eagerness to gain a perspective or a philosophy for improving education, and show an interest in providing a standard program. The staff has not found a way to work together to improve and to devise a well-coordinated and articulated curriculum for chil- dren of the district. They are seeking direction, and will respond to good leadership and motivation. The speech teacher, who comes in from Shelton, reports excellent cooperation by the Pioneer teachers. The District is _commended for its implementation of an exchange of teachers for the various subject areas. This has resulted in some of the skills of teachers being utilized to the best advantage. The school seemingly is doing a good Job of keeping patrons of the district informed, and is commended for having established a committee of par- ents to advise the Board. The potential for educational attainment for ;he District is greater than what is being accomplished. The teaching staff, administration, and School Board, working together with the community advisory com- mittee, could move the District ahead in a fine curriculum and instructional program for the children. The scale maintained by the District should insure qualified personnel being attracted to the District. The average salary schedule at the present time at Pioneer is $9,347 for certificated personnel, as compared with a state averse of $8,694 for non-hlgh school districts. In view of the ability of the District to attract quallfled and experienced teachers, it should -- Continued I