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School district holds long-term planning meeting

By Staff | Jun 1, 2018

Bonnie Remmick/PCT Rugby Public Schools Superintendent Mike McNeff discusses the district’s goals during the long-term planning meeting held last week in the Rugby High School library.

Rugby High School hosted a long-range planning meeting for the district at the high school on May 22. Mike McNeff, superintendent of District 5, facilitated the discussion which included an overview of the goals which are based on the three required actions from a previous school review.

Rugby School District 5 is having a five-year review in October. This meeting was in preparation for that next accreditation visit.

Goal 1: The Rugby Public School will achieve more focused professional development with an emphasis on improving instruction to achieve more active student engagement. Various strategies are used to gain measurements. The Staff will have a professional learning survey. Teachers will assess professional learning opportunities. Learning is individualized for the teachers for their professional development. Data from these assessments are used to develop changes and adjustments to professional learning in future years.

Goal 2: The Rugby Public School District will develop formal systems to track student data which will be used to improve instruction. Strategies used to implement this goal will be standards based learning practices and Student groupings based on CFAs, groupings are fluid and students move in and out of reteaching and enrichment groups.

On Sept. 24, Phil Warrick will conduct standards-based learning at the high school. Horacio Sanchez will conduct behavior research. A measure to show progress is based upon successful implementation determined by student achievement data, such as ACT results going up two points this year above the state average.

Goal 3: The Rugby Public School District will develop new practices to recruit and retain staff. Strategies for this include the North Dakota Teacher Support System. This is conducted by first-year teachers participating in the state mentorship program. We have implemented a “no islands” teacher process so teachers do not feel alone.

Instructional Coaching Program helps second-year teachers to complete two coaching cycles with a coach. Third-year teachers will complete coaching cycle with a coach.

Other strategies are a New Teacher Orientation which will require a completed one-day orientation prior to school starting. The new teachers will work with administrators, technology coordinators and instructional coaches.

One way to measure the success of this process is the recruiting, done by teacher fairs and creating connections with teacher preparation programs. Reviewing of teacher turnover is also an indicator. We have had a 9 percent rate of turnover, with no improvement in this area.

The overall demographics for Rugby School District 5 is 804 square miles and because its rural, the cost per student is higher than in a city area-which makes it less cost effective. In the area of programs and services offered, the district has made some progress. Pierce County has some shared costs with social services, and candidates for social services are being interviewed to provide professional counseling and mental health services.

In Academic Programs we are accredited, McNeff said. “The district is approved by the State of North Dakota, accredited by AdvancED, and in compliance with all the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act. School head count is currently 303 students and growing. By the year 2021 and 2022, growth will strain the building capacity.”

McNeff concluded the meeting by commenting, “Education is different than the year 1991 when we had 400-plus students. Education today is much different, with new technology, rising costs, new educational requirements and, for example, the cost for busing students which has grown to over $450,000 a year.”

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