• December 20, 2014

Belton schools plan for growth

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:30 am

BELTON — Every year, each school district and its campuses must submit an improvement plan that clearly outlines performance objectives.

“This establishes the goals and direction of the district, and we have been working on this for many months,” said Randy Pittenger, Belton Independent School District board president.

Policy requires every district and campus to create and revise annual improvement plans, Belton Superintendent Susan Kincannon said.

This year, for the first time, Belton administrators spent the duration of their summer retreat reviewing the district improvement plan, Kincannon said. This enables administrators to create a campus plan in line with the district plan, she said.

“I would say we had a really successful couple of days doing that,” Kincannon said.

The district improvement plan, which was approved Monday, consists of six goals for the district to achieve in the upcoming year.

The first goal is to implement and monitor well-designed processes to address future growth and changing student needs. Much of this goal is centered on budgeting for future needs, long-range facility planning, aging infrastructure, and prioritizing maintenance and construction projects.

The second goal is achieving success on state assessments and helping students prepare for life after high school. This will include expanding online learning and dual-credit courses for high school students, implementing new curriculum to improve standardized test scores and developing a viable career and technology program.

The third goal is centered on recruiting and keeping quality administration, faculty and staff. This goal includes making sure the district is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. For the first time this year, the district is offering a paid life insurance benefit program. The goal also includes implementing the new Leader’s Link computer program, which was purchased for $47,000 in April.

“I wonder how we are going to evaluate Leader’s Link,” Pittenger said. “I know we will implement it, but how will we evaluate its effectiveness?”

Pittenger asked the Belton ISD staff to develop a way of evaluating the effectiveness of the new communication software.

The fourth goal is to sustain school safety by making required security renovations to certain campuses and continuing to refine the positive behavioral support pilot project at South Belton Middle School. To meet this goal, Belton ISD will add a school resource officer in January.

The fifth goal is for the district to continue to promote shared partnerships. This will focus on effective communication with the state Legislature, Kincannon said.

The last goal is to ensure the district and campuses meet all state accountability requirements.

“We are setting some ambitious goals in order to push and raise the bar higher,” Pittenger said.

The campus improvement plans will be presented to the board for approval in September.

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