RF schools aim higher still with newly set goals

? Formal policy manual is expected by September, 2006.

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The District 90 school board passed a list of formal goals and related performance indicators for both itself and Superintendent Marlene Kamm at its monthly meeting Monday evening. Following a brief discussion and several small changes to the text, board members voted unanimously to approve the documents.

The work is intended to clarify appropriate policies and procedures to be followed by the board and school administrators, as well as establish a set of performance indicators that will allow them to track progress and identify areas of concern.

The Board set five primary goals for itself, including the facilitation of optimal performance by students and staff, the fullest utilization of resources to benefit the stakeholders in the district, the promotion of an educational climate encouraging individuality and diversity, the integration of people into the Dist. 90 community, and the development of a Board of Education policy manual by September, 2006.

Drawing a key distinction, Kamm told the board that they generally will concern themselves with implementing policies, while she and other school administrators will deal with procedures.

Kamm's goal list included seven main points, most of which complemented the board goals. In addition, she was charged with improving staff and student progress in such measures of accomplishment as the Terra Nova and ISAT tests and local assessment results. Other indicators of progress were implementation of Curriculum Maps, continued staff education, and technology implementation.

Kamm has earlier informed board members that some 27 district teachers are working diligently this summer to finalize key parts of the school system's curriculm mapping project for kindergarten through eighth grades.

"They're currently working on language and writing arts," she said. "They started June 15 and hope to finish by mid-July." Skills included in the effort involve listening, reading, speaking, grammar, spelling and research.

Kamm was also charged with improving the visibility of the school system within the community through a combination of approaches including parent coffees, classroom visits and increased event participation.

Kamm's last two goals, under "Policy" involved facilitating the development of the written Board Policy Manual, and of the set of written administrative procedures.

In other developments:

? The board moved to formalize public comment before monthly board meetings. Besides limiting time to 30 minutes for most meetings, the board sought to provide guidelines for those wishing to address it. After Kamm had suggested that a maximum of 30 minutes be allotted for public comment, several members noted that there didn't seem to be a need for more time than that.

Under the new policy, speakers are asked to identify themselves and be brief in their comments. Individual comments are also limited to five minutes unless a person has informed the board prior to a meeting that more time is required.

The new rules also allow the board president to deny an individual the right to speak before the board if that person has addressed the board on the same subject within the past two months.

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