Increased public involvement in decision-making processes, development of a comprehensive code of policies and procedures to govern district actions and improving the performance of students highlight the goals tentatively approved by the Davis Board of Education for the coming school year.
Final approval of the goal statement is expected at one of the board's May meetings.Six areas of concern are identified in the draft report:
Improving evaluation policies and procedures for all categories of employees district wide. This would be accomplished by appointing a districtwide evaluation committee to develop the policies. The plans would conform to new state laws guiding such evaluations. The committee would also look at categories where no evaluation plan exists and make recommendations. Job descriptions for all employee categories would also be written.
Better involving the public in the decision-making process and improvement of its relationship with key educational and governmental organizations and with the public. To do this, each school would be asked to develop a plan for involving the public in key decisions. The plan would include specific steps for improving community support and for informing the public of school goals, programs, policies and for identifying critical issues challenging the effectiveness of schools. Also, the superintendent would advocate district priorities and interests to legislators and to the public and would pursue legislation strengthening the quality and financial security of the educational program. The superintendent would develop a districtwide process for improving communications within the district and for better informing the public about critical issues.
Developing by district staff of a comprehensive code of policies and procedures to govern district actions. This plan would be used to organize and codify policies and procedures. Existing policies would be incorporated into the plan in appropriate categories. The effort would also identify areas requiring policy development for future action.
To ensure the plan is effective, a process for modifying and regularly updating policies would be identified with a process for communicating and disseminating new or modified policies included.
Improving the performance of students in the subjects of the district course of study, including the state core curriculum as measured by the state core curriculum end of level and end of course testing and by district evaluation procedures. It is hoped this effort would measure the effectiveness of teachers and the curriculum being offered. A districtwide student evaluation system would be developed along with other measures and performance information that would lead to school improvement.
Improving the instructional program. Each school would prepare a one-, three- and five-year plan for improving the instructional program in keeping with the district curriculum and philosophy goals. Each plan would include a strategy for involving the faculty, staff and parents in the planning process and for getting maximum use of joint staff study committees, curriculum supervisors and other staff funded by the career-ladder program.
The goal also calls for a new procedure for adopting textbooks in all subject areas and at all grade levels. This procedure would include a cycle of adoption so greater standardization and uniformity could be achieved in schools.
Other aspects of this goal include continued in-service training for principals involving the state core curriculum, planning for integration of educational technology into the instructional program, added emphasis to improving the curriculum and instructional practices in such basic subjects as reading, language arts, writing, mathematics, science and social studies, and implementing a plan to get the most from vocational programs, including better use of the programs offered by the Davis Area Vocational Center.
Recognizing and honoring student and teacher efforts is also included in this goal.
Improving administrative practices to enhance efficiency and productivity. This would include continued evaluation of the effectiveness of extended-day programs and a look at the feasibility of year-round schools; evaluation of alternative staffing plans for school principals and other administrative positions, and increasing the use of computer applications for warehousing, bus routing, purchasing activities and other administrative functions.
The goals resulted from two meetings involving the board of education, key administrators and about 40 district patrons. The group discussed school and education needs and then tried to focus those needs into a list of goals. The goal statement is the result of those efforts.