Our school board is accountable to the community to ensure that the district makes reasonable progress in achieving student learning goals and that the educational system, including our own work, operates in compliance with all laws and policies. In order to meet this obligation, we regularly monitor all of these areas.
Monitoring Student Goals
A central aspect of our board’s work is to help establish a clear vision for education in our community. This includes a concrete sense of what we want our students to know and be able to do by the time they leave school in the form of student learning goals. The development of these goals is best done collaboratively with the community and by taking local values and priorities into consideration as well as state and federal laws, and resources available to the district.
We then need to monitor the work to ensure the district is making reasonable progress in achieving these learning goals. There are three general reasons behind investing time and resources in progress monitoring:
- To answer the question “Are we getting what we said we wanted?”
- To get an early indication of anything going wrong so it can be addressed
- To regularly check whether the desired student goals are still relevant or if they need to be adjusted
In addition to monitoring student learning goals, we must also ensure the educational system is functioning appropriately. We have an obligation to monitor all policies to ensure the district is operating within the established parameters. We also engage in a variety of financial management and oversight activities that allow for proper checks and balances. In addition, we engage in a variety of self-evaluation activities to review how well we are working as a board in fulfilling our required duties.
How We Monitor
In general, we use three methods to monitor both student learning outcomes and system operations:
Data and information is presented under the authority of the Superintendent on a regular basis in the form of status reports, committee reports, and progress monitoring reports, particularly for student academic and behavioral data. The Business Manager provides monthly financial reports. The principal often submits an incidental report to provide additional context to activities and accomplishments at the school.
Currently, the main external report comes in the form of the annual financial audit that our school district is required to complete.
While less frequent, these are opportunities to view or experience students and staff within the learning environment. School tours, round table discussions, student performances, science fairs and capstone projects are examples.
It is important to note here that it is not our job to judge individual students or staff, but to look for evidence and trends that support the degree to which students overall are achieving the learning goals and the district is meeting its obligations.