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February 2017

Board Review

School Board meetings at Clover Park School District

Feb. 13 Board Meeting

School Report: Carter Lake Eagles soar as a School of Distinction

Carter Lake Elementary principal Jeff Murrell gave a presentation on the school’s progress at the Feb. 13 meeting.

Principal Jeff Murrell provided the board with an update on Carter Lake Elementary. According to an introduction by superintendent Debbie LeBeau, Murrell has served in the district as a principal since 2000. He was the principal of Oakbrook Elementary before transferring to Carter Lake Elementary in 2014.

Murrell’s presentation included an overview of student demographics, which showed that out of 472 students, 41.9 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunch. The student military population is 95 percent.

Carter Lake test scores showed notable improvement in English language arts and science from the 2014-15 to 2015-16 school years; however, math proficiency had dropped. Murrell said staff will convene in their professional learning communities (PLCs) to share knowledge on teaching practices to improve academic growth among all students, specifically in math.

Carter Lake was named a School of Distinction in both 2015 and 2016. The school also received a Washington Achievement Award in 2015. Like the five other CPSD elementary schools on JBLM, Carter Lake offers programs and staffing through the Department of Defense to support military families, such as year round, onsite military family life consultants.

In the superintendent’s report, Debbie LeBeau provided an update on the board goals including:

Community Engagement

  • The City of Lakewood’s Martin Luther King, Jr. event showcased Park Lodge and Harrison Prep choirs. Harrison Prep’s music teacher Ryan Harris arranged a group number incorporating both choirs as well as a community band, which closed out the event.

Student Achievement

  • Open Doors held its first winter awarding of diplomas ceremony, where 14 students received their high school diplomas.

Supportive Learning Environment

  • The annual Future Chefs competition had a great turnout and highlighted fourth grade future chefs from across the district.

Staff Retention, Recruitment and Performance

  • The human resources department hosted an Educator Networking and Employment event which had 36 candidates in attendance. Thirty interviews were conducted, with three letters of intent being offered on the spot. More educators from the event are anticipated to be hired.

Ensuring communication with all stakeholders

  • All three high schools held information nights for eighth graders and their families to provide them with the necessary information to make a decision about where to enroll for high school in CPSD.
  • The district is partnering with the Washington Department of Transportation and Washington Operation Lifesaver to educate students and their families about train safety, in light of the Amtrak Cascades reroute through Lakewood. Information is being disseminated through fliers, websites, social media, classroom presentations and school assemblies; details on a community event will be shared as they are confirmed. High-speed testing on the tracks has begun, and the route is anticipated to fully operate by fall of 2017.

Feb. 13 Board Meeting

Board gets updates on Parent Engagement, Career and Technical Education and Proposed Changes for 2017-18

In its meeting on Feb. 27, the CPSD Board of Directors heard a report on the district’s parent engagement efforts from Deputy Superintendent Brian Laubach, Director of Student Services Holly Shaffer and Family and Community Partnership Coordinator Holly Bocchi.

Laubach, Shaffer and Bocchi provided an overview of:

  • Communication strategies to inform and engage families;
  • The district’s Parent Connections Council;
  • Support for parent engagement across the district;
  • Work being done with families from diverse backgrounds; and
  • The use of a school volunteer management software program.

An update on Career and Technical Education (CTE) was provided by Deb Shanafelt, the district’s director of career and technical education. Shanafelt updated the board on CTE objectives for 2016- 17, which include:

  • Development and maintenance of relevant centralized programs of study that prepare students for post-high school opportunities;
  • Collaboration with college, industry and business to support career readiness; and
  • Development of a comprehensive CTE and career guidance program. Shanafelt also highlighted the CTE program review cycle and provided details on progress being made with each of the objectives.

Superintendent Debbie LeBeau, Assistant Superintendent Ron Banner and Laubach also reviewed three proposed changes for the 2017-18 school year.

Middle School Scheduling Change

Effective with the 2017-18 school year, middle schools will have designated English language arts (ELA), social studies, math and science teachers. Previously middle school teachers were scheduled to teach both ELA and social studies; or math and science to ease the transition of students from elementary to middle school by having fewer individual teachers and courses.

Next school year, students will have more teachers and courses. However, each teacher will “specialize” in a content area of his/her expertise.

“We believe this is a ‘win-win’ for students and teachers,” explained LeBeau. “Teachers will teach in their strength content areas and students will benefit from their teachers’ expertise and focus.”

Other benefits to the scheduling change include retention and recruitment of teachers and more focused professional development for teachers.

Elementary School Trimesters

Also effective with the 2017-18 school year, elementary schools will move to trimester (60 days each) reporting periods from quarterly (45 days each) reporting periods, which are currently used.

A committee of elementary principals and teachers, along with district staff including Ron Banner and Craig Cook, the director of information technology services, studied the recommendation and support its implementation. In addition, parents, principals and teachers were surveyed to determine their level of support.

Banner cited several advantages of moving to trimesters at the elementary level to include:

  • More time for students to learn and demonstrate proficiency;
  • More time at the beginning of the school year for students to acclimate to school, classroom and schedules before baseline testing and grading begins;
  • Fewer marking periods reduces time for necessary testing and increases instructional time; and
  • More flexibility for teachers to pace curriculum and ensure student mastery of skills.

Professional Learning Communities—Late Start Wednesdays

Laubach provided the board with an update on a proposed change for delivery and time for professional learning communities for teachers. The proposal calls for moving from nine, early release professional development half days during the school year to 29 one hour late starts on Wednesdays. Every Wednesday during the school year, students would have a one-hour late start with the exception of:

  • The first two weeks of school;
  • Parent conference Wednesdays in the fall and spring;
  • The day before Thanksgiving; and Wednesdays in June, including the last day of school.

Staff would start at their regular time with professional development or professional learning community activities. Six of the 29 late start Wednesdays would be used for district professional development. The remaining 23 late start Wednesdays would be time for teachers to collaborate in professional learning communities.

Surveys to obtain feedback on the proposed change have been distributed to parents, staff and administrators. Data will be analyzed to determine if additional refinement of the plan is needed. Staff will also work with transportation and student nutrition services to determine how late starts Wednesdays can be implemented.

Once the plan is finalized, a communication plan will be developed.

The next regular meeting of the CPSD Board of Directors is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, March 20.

As part of the Individual Action Agenda, the Clover Park School District Board of Directors:

  • Authorized the purchase of instructional materials for:
    • Approved a change order of an additional $17,083 for the completed contract services of the Custer roof repair by Northwest Abatement.

Marty Schafer, President
253-588-9356 - District No. 4

Carole Jacobs, Vice-President
253-579-4898 - District No. 2

Becki Kellcy
602-882-0554 - District No. 1

Joe Vlaming
206-200-8191 - District No. 3

Paul Wagemann
253-209-5638 - District No. 5

Deborah L. LeBeau
Superintendent and
Secretary to the Board

Clover Park School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Address correspondence to one of the following individuals who have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination at Clover Park School District, 10903 Gravelly Lake Dr., SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-1341: Title IX Coordinator, Brian Laubach, Deputy Superintendent, (253) 583-5050; Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Brian Laubach, Deputy Superintendent, (253) 583-5050; Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, Lori McStay, Executive Director for Human Resources, (253) 583-5080.