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New London schools seek continuous improvement

Plan to measure student success, growth

By Robert Cloud

The New London School District is taking steps toward implementing a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP).

District Administrator Scott Bleck and Danielle Sievert, director of teaching and learning, explained how CIP will help the district measure the success of its students at the July 10 school board meeting.

A public forum on CIP will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, July 31, in the New London High School library. The session will provide an opportunity for sharing and feedback.

Bleck said CIP provides Indicators of Success that measure four key performance areas: Learning and Achievement; Financial and Operational Stability; Safe, Orderly and Healthy; and Engaged and Connected.

Each indicator is rated from 1-5. A rating of 5 indicates the district significantly exceeds expectations in that category, while a rating of 1 indicates failure to met expectations.

New London has already determined ratings in three of the four indicators. The district scored a 3 in Learning and Achievement and in Financial and Operational Stability. A 3 indicates that the district meets expectations.

The district scored a 4 in the Safe, Orderly and Healthy indicator, which means it exceeds expectations.

“The CIP is a document that aligns our framework toward the indicators of success which we have identified to be our focus,” Bleck told the New London Press Star. “The Indicators of Success give us targeted objectives that can be worked toward.”

Bleck said the district’s goal is “to significantly exceed expectations based on our ratings.”

At the school board meeting, Sievert said administrators examine data, test scores and surveys results that provide measurements for each indicator.

Learning and Achievement

For example, the Learning and Achievement indicator is measured by the state Department of Public Instruction report card, seniors’ level of college and career readiness, iReady assessments of student achievement and growth, and ACT scores.

The DPI gave New London a score of 68.7, which means the district meets expectations. The state report card accounts for 50% of the total Learning and Achievement indicator.

Sievert explained college and career readiness: “The measurements of our seniors’ success in doing something that gets them college and career ready. Currently that includes work placement, youth apprenticeship, AP dual credit and vocational placement.”

She said iReady measures reading and math and provides more than just a one time score. While the state gives an assessment once a year, the district uses iReady three to four times a year to show how students grow over time.

The ACT measures the performance of juniors.

“We want to know that we are making decisions starting in kindergarten that will impact some of this growth along the way,” Sievert said.

Looking forward

Bleck said the district should be focused on indicators that help support the greater New London community.

“Any organization should be engaging in a process that reflects upon current outcomes, as well as looking forward to where the organization would lke to be,” Bleck said. “Our district is no different.”

The district will report its Indicators of Success to the school board and community at large so the community can see how the students are performing.

The goal is to exceed or significantly exceed expectations, Bleck said.

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