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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
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Mason County Journal
March 18, 1971     Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 18, 1971

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Ill. also be able to hold them to the responsibility of using their skills to provide an excellent educational program for children in the Distrlct. ~Needs Based Upon SurveI Recommendations A. Curriculum Planning and Development Often it is necessary for teachers, administrators, and citizens, to understand once again the purposes for which schools exist. Regardless of the nature of the goals of the school system, they are reached through the program of experiences planned for and with students. These experiences constitute theschool's curric- ulum. They deserve to be the very best experiences that the resources of the community can provide. B. Recommendations an__~d Suggestions Most of the recommendations from the survey team fall into the curriculum area. These have been condensed into a list with some simplicity, including some suggestions for implementation. The recommendations and suggestions made are being submitted in order to provide a greater strength and quality in the educational program. These recommendations are: l. That the District establish a K-6 curriculum-planning process in the areas of mathematics, social studies, language acts, physical education, health, music, art, and science. This recommendation is not made in the same terms usually applied to larger districts and staffs, but is a realistic form which we believe can be implemented by the small staff. It is suggested that each of the teachers assume responsibility for the group in at least one academic area. For example, one person could make social studies his specialty; another one, mathematics; and another one, reading; etc. By becoming some- what of an authority on the subject for which he is responsible, the staff member can bring to the group information regarding recent research, as well as textbooks and materials which are available. The Board of Directors could make it possible for the staff to function more efficiently by providing released time for study as well as a schedule for regular curriculum meetings. There should be some priorities set with one or two particular areas of the curriculum being studied at an allotted time. For example, probably the most important need thatshould be considered is a basic philosophy of education for the entire school program. Developed with scope and sequence for each subject at each grade level, it would not only increase uniform understanding of what is expected to be achieved, but would also help to ivethe program articulation. That some opportunities be provided for staff members to visit other schools to observe good procedures and instruc- tional techniques in certain learning areas and to participate in inservice activities open to them. Such visits should be carefully planned by first seeking from the Superintendent of Public Instruction staff information as to where specific techniques canbe observed. That the remedial reading teacher be given opportunities for special training in order to gain new skills and techniques, which she can use with children and in training fellow teachers. That teachers be provided with inservicetraining in teaching reading skills. A reading curriculum committee made up of the total staff should be assisted by consultants to identify the broad areas of reading instruction, and improvement should then be made in those reading areas where weaknesses are recog- nized. Higher thought processes and new vocabulary should be developed through instructional efforts. These areas in par- ticular should be given specific attention. The committee could examine sample copies of reading texts and materials to see what instructional varieties are suggested. That the extra reading skills materials and equipment in the special reading room be cataloged and made available ,.all classroom teachers in order that they may carry out more effective skills-building programS in the classrooms. That classroom teachers and the remedial teacher carefully USe the individual's diagnostic test data in determining the skills-building program to be used with each individual child. The diagnostic information from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills should be summarized and then reviewed by the teachers. Some generalizations might be,drawn from,he test results that would raise questions for curriculum improvement. That the teaching staff and the principal explore together techniques of teaching and classroom management which can make learning experiences dynamic interactiOnS. These approaches WOuld include such things as opportunities for discussion of current topics of interest, the exploration of new ideas, com- Paring and testing one's own ideas, inquiry, debating, research, and small-group activities. Educational television and/or radio should be utilized for contact with the outside world. (The ideas found in the Taba materials could be broadened to ~oze classrooms.) That the audiovisual equipment be used as much as possible and Whenever available to make learning more interesting and to @l t instruction extra dimension through films, tapes, trans- Parencies, and records. That any future textbook selection be carefully made only after study by the entire school staff and school Board. Ideally, an adoption schedule should be established for the District to insure uniform and periodic review and updating of text materials. Textbooks should be selected that insure a loglcal basic sequence of materials that Support articulation in the K-6 program and the transition into the secondaryprogram. That the principal be held responsible through staff and C unity participation for the development of a district phil- Osophy of education to give direction and purpose to the school Program. Once developed, the statement Should be recommended to the Board of Directors for adoption. Such a statement should be reviewed often and updated when necessary. That a portion of each annual library budget be designated for Professional magazines and books to be used by the teachers. As Vacancies occur, that the district hire young, knowledgeable, energetic teachers. IV. Buildings, Equipment, and Grounds A. Recommendations and Suggestlons Are: I. That preventive maintenance and repair on the building and furnishings be carried out as needed to save money in the long run. (For example, a plugged drain on the roof of the covered walkway is causing water damage. Escaping steam is damaging plants and the building.) The employment of a qualified custodian should provide for a marked improvement in the general conditions as to health and welfare. (This includes such items as dusting, window glass replacement, general cleaning and repair.) . That the concentric ring light fixtures eventually be replaced with a good florescent fixture that would provide 100-foot candles of light at desk level with about 300-foot lamberts of reflective light from the fixture itself. . That current leplacement light bulbs in the'concentric light fixtures be only silver-bowl bulbs--never clear or frosted. It may be necessary to clean the ceilings or repaint them with a flat latex paint to improve the reflective factor of lighting in the older classrooms. 4. That consideration be given to a future project of carpeting the library and kindergarten room. . That more general pride be taken and fostered among students in the appearance of the interior of the building and class- rooms. Art collections might be borrowed from other districts, centers, or library for display on the walls. Bright colors might be used to highlight bulletin board surfaces, doors, etc. V. The Board of Directors It is recommended that the Board of Directors work closely together as a team to make all decisions regarding policy. Policy can be established only by the majority vote of the Board. All actions regarding policy by individual board members must be authorized by the total Board at formal called meetings. VI. Action Plans In defining goals and establishing priorities, there is a definite need for the staff, school board, and members of the community to identify educational goals for the Pioneer School District. After a consensus has been reached, these goals should be prioritized and a strong commitment made to their implementation. Every member of the professional staff should be involved in establishing common goals for the total educational program. Am Alternative for Action A Joint meeting called by the principal of all school district staff personnel, and possibly the advisory committee members, to carry out the following sequence of activities: i. Set down common goals for the district to achieve. 2. Employ a device that would vividly point up the need for interstaff communication in this regard. . Make the staff aware that this Job is not going to be done by one individual, or a small group of individuals, or over a short period of time. . Investigate several methods of breaking into small study groups of three to four persons each for the purpose of. defining goals. . Bring the small groups together at a specified time (not to exceed a week following the initial establishment of groups and, preferably, during the same meeting session in which the groups were formed) in order to bring together those goals agree( upon by each group. . Combine goals that seem to duplicate each other and boil down the total number to those goals that seem to be most fitting in the opinion of the Pioneer staff for the students of the School District. e Once goals have been established, group them into logical relationships for the purpose of identifying and defining methods of achieving them. Break the entire staff into different groups on the basis of their interests in the various goal categories. . After each goalhas been identified and a method for achieving that goal has been established, present the entirework to the School Board for its review and recommendations regarding the acceptance, elimination, or revision of each goal. e Once the Board has approved the direction in which the local district should be headed--that is, has given sound backing to the goals established by the professional educators hired by that Board--place the entire matter before the community. (It should be noted that general community approval is more likely to be forthcoming if teachers consult liberally with community members for advice in establishing the initial goals.) 10. The school board and the community together, after recognizing that the achievement of goals may very well require local fiscal and moral support, support the achievement of the goals by serving as a r source for classroom teachers. B. Alternative for Action lo Follow steps one, two, and three above, but, instead of setting up teacher committees to define goals, develop a design by "disciplines." Four- or five-member lay advisory com ttees could work with one or two teachers from each of the several disciplines in the curricul nn; i.e., language arts, science, mathematics, music and art, physical education, etc. 5 Charge each committee with the responsibility of defining not only the general goals for the total school program, but-the specific goals for the discipline that it represents. The remaining .steps described in the alternative above might well be the same since the ultimate objective is to define the direction of the school program and ..devise methods for achieving that direction.