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home : education : education August 28, 2014


11/26/2013 1:20:00 PM
Middle school principal gives 100 days report
Ruth Erickson
Chronotype staff

At its meeting Monday, Nov. 25, the Rice Lake Board of Education heard a report from middle school principal Josh Tomesh after his first 100 days and got a sneak peak from high school principal Curt Pacholke of a new course description booklet.
"At Rice Lake Middle School, we are here to inquire, learn and achieve," said Tomesh of the school's mission.
Based on last year's data, the 2013-2014 goal is that 75% of Rice Lake Middle School students will demonstrate proficient or advanced levels based on the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment in reading by the end of the school year.
Tomesh said the goal was attainable but he would like to revise it to a greater number than 75%.
Board member Steve Bowman agreed, saying that made it sound like the district didn't care about the remaining 25%.
He said a primary objective next year will focus on reading and writing in the content area. A secondary objective is to create a culture of learning with reduced interruptions to instruction.
Tomesh said the staff is doing a great job at professional development and collaboration.
He said so far his time and energy has been spent on building relationships with staff, students and the community.
The principal said behavior training outside, on buses, in hallways, etc., was done at the beginning of the year and students will get a refresher midway through the year so expectations are clear.
Tomesh told the board is searching for proactive programming to teach core values, anti-bullying messages and respect for one another. One being tried is CPR-Circle, Power and Respect.
He sees a parent advisory council or parents group less as a fund-raising organization and more as a channel for open communication.
Middle School staff is building Professional Learning Communities or PLCs focusing on the questions-what do we want students to know, how do we know they are learning, what do we do if they are not learning and how do we respond when they have already learned the information.
Tomesh said assessments were done in September to get good, solid data to effect instruction. Data teams studied the results in October. Research-based interventions were studied to determine need and are currently being monitored.
He said the next most important step is continued development and assessment of core curriculum and instruction.
"Our goal is to be student-focused with achievement at the heart of everything we do," Tomesh concluded.
Pacholke gave the board a media presentation on the updated high school course description booklet that will be on the website and in the hands of students next week.
Rather than the former art to zoology list of courses, the booklet features a flow chart for each discipline with a layout of courses to move through it.
Pacholke said a final phase of the revised booklet, career clusters, was not ready for this year's booklet.
He said grouping course descriptions together allows for better foresight in course scheduling.
Other business
In a Building and Grounds Committee report, Don Cuskey said the committee was introduced to TSB project engineers, who have tentatively set groundbreaking on the referendum projects for early May. He said the engineers will be in the district meeting with those most affected by the projects. Bidding on a general contractor is upcoming.
The board gave student recognition awards to the following: Haily Lenius, a third-grader at Jefferson Elementary, Talia Rodriguez, a third-grader at Tainter Elementary; Morgan Musil, a second-grader at Haugen Elementary; Carter Kucko, a kindergartner at Hilltop Elementary; Dalton Drost, a seventh-grader at RLMS and Mariah Jacobs, a 10-grader at Rice Lake High School.
The awards recognize students who show perseverance/resilience, citizenship, leadership, creativity/innovation, community service or academic excellence.
Bill Bandli and Nick Merkt were hired as head boys' swimming co-coaches.
Resignations were accepted from Kasei Shannon, Montessori School teacher's aide; and Sheila Loew and Cassandra Hiser, paraprofessionals.

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