FREMONT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
GOAL #1 – Graduation / Dropout Rates
Numerous studies have cited the economic and social value of students obtaining their high school and college degrees, according to a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau study the annual income of the average dropout is $20,241 while a typical high school graduate earns $30,627. A study released by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that Nebraska ranks fourth in the nation with a graduation rate of 86%. Fremont is below the state average at 85.35% based on 2013 data. Further, among dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24, incarceration rates were 63 times higher than among college graduates, evidence that dropouts are exposed to the same socioeconomic forces that often lead to a life of crime.
Fremont Public Schools will achieve a 90 percent graduation rate by the graduating class of 2018 across all populations.
- Interviews with students who have stopped attending High School will be conducted and barriers to their return reviewed.
- Identify the circumstances that prevent students from reaching graduation requirements and work to remove them while maintaining the rigor of the High School Curriculum.
- Identify subgroups of students that are below the district graduation rate and develop a plan that is individualized for them.
- Develop a four-year plan with students starting in eighth grade that helps students chart a course to graduation including classes and activities.
- Review current offerings for alternative High School and consider school within a school concept with alternative schedules to meet the needs of students and families.
- Begin the planning process for high school and college at the Middle School.
- Develop a plan for implementation of career ready practices within core curriculum areas and career ready programs.
Currently, our graduation rate has ranged from 81.25 to 85.35 and from 84.51 to 85.98 when an extended year within the cohort. By 2018 Fremont’s graduation rate will be 90 percent or higher in the Four-Year Cohort.
GOAL #2 – Career Technical Education
Nationwide, Career Technical Education (CTE) programs are changing, evolving and innovating to better serve the country’s needs. CTE programs provide students with skills necessary to enter the workforce or continue their learning in postsecondary education by creating an environment that integrates core academics with practical and relevant skills.
Fremont Public Schools will research and develop career-ready programs that best serve the students of Fremont Public Schools while partnering with local businesses and industry.
- Utilizing the ReVision Grant awarded in 2014-15 we will study the current career-ready opportunities provided to students within the school system.
- Form a committee made up of school and business leaders to help identify career-ready programs that are most suitable for Fremont.
- Shift our current learning model from “seat-time” to a model that allows for application-based-learning-experiences and “real-world” opportunities for our students.
- Involve business and industry as well as the entire community to maximize resources of time, money and support of Career Ready programs.
- Provide professional development for stakeholders involved in the shift from our current teaching model to a more state of the art approach to instruction and learning.
- Conduct a study with the assistance of members of the State Department of Education-Career Education as we plan, organize and develop programs of study that meet the goals of a Career Ready curriculum.
- The implementation of career-ready skills in core curriculum will be part of staff development in grades 5-12 and align with professional development provided by the district during PLC time and district professional development days.
By the end of the school year, 2014-15 selection of the Career Ready Programs that best meet the needs of our students and community will be selected. (NOTE: This will have a direct impact on graduation rate and be part of our action plan for increasing our percentage of students who graduate with their cohort.)
By the 2016-17 school year, implementation of career-ready practices will be integrated into core academic courses and selected career education programs that will bring greater relevance and value to our student’s school experience.
Goal #3 – Student Grading Policy Revision
Despite all the emphasis on No Child Left Behind and standardized tests by political leaders and Federal and State Departments of Education; students and parents are more interested in classroom grades, report cards, honor roll, academic honors and class rank. “An effective system of formative assessment and standards-based grading gives students the frequent, specific, and constructive feedback they need to achieve and sustain high performance. Designing effective assessments and using them purposefully within a system of grading and reporting requires insight, practice, and teamwork.” – Marzano Research Laboratory – Assessment and Grading
Through a collaborative process, develop a researched based grading practice PreK-12 that focuses on student learning and is based on content alignment to learning standards.
- Each building principal will select a group of interested teachers who will serve as members of the “grading committee” and be the voice for other teachers within their building.
- Using current resources about teaching and grading a set of Guidelines will be created and communicated to all staff.
Resources to use:
“Classroom Assessment and Grading that Work” by Marzano
“How to Grade for Learning K-12” O’Connor, K. (2009)
“Fair Isn’t Always Equal” Wormeli, R.
“Developing a Grading and Reporting System for Student Learning” Guskey, T.
“A Repair Kit For Grading — 15 Fixes for Broken Grades” by Ken O’Connor??
“The School Leader’s Guide to Grading” by Ken O’Connor
“Elements of Grading – A Guide to Effective Practice” by Douglas Reeves
- Develop and implement a communication system for sharing grading strategy with parents, students and other FPS stakeholders.
- Create Timeline for study, communication and implementation.
Progress reviewed with Board of Education quarterly with the implementation of “best practices” implemented with fidelity by 2016-17.
Goal #4 – Student Achievement
The final outcome for this goal is to increase student learning. One will see that many of the aspects in this BOE goal are in line with the Nebraska Department of Education’s accountability system, Accountability Quality Educational System for Today and Tomorrow: A QuESTT, is comprised of the following tenets, followed by areas of focus:
- College & Career Ready (CCR) — rigorous CRR standards for all content areas, technological and digital readiness, and support for career awareness and career/college goals.
- Assessment — individualized/adaptive assessment, classroom-based assessment, state assessment and national/international assessment.
- Positive partnerships, relationships & student success — individualized or personalized learning plans, attendance and participation, parent/family engagement, and community and support services.
- Educator Effectiveness — performance frameworks for teachers and principals, professional development, school leadership supports, and effective local policymakers and superintendents.
- Transitions — early childhood – elementary, elementary-middle school, and high school-post high school.
- Educational opportunities and access — early childhood education, expanded learning opportunities, comprehensive learning opportunities, blended learning opportunities and dual credit / AP opportunities.
Fremont Public Schools will increase student performance for all students in core curricular areas.
- Fremont Public Schools will evaluate the current instructional model and update based on current needs.
- Fremont Public Schools will research, develop and implement an integrated technology curriculum throughout the district K-8.
- Data from NWEA-MAP testing will be utilized to identify students who are not progressing; these students will be provided additional opportunities for learning focused on areas of deficiency.
- ACT scores for reading, math, science, and composite will be above the state average
- 80% of students will meet or exceed NWEA growth projections in reading and mathematics.
- NeSA scale scores in reading, writing, math, and science will be above state average.
- NeSA results in reading, writing, math and science will increase the percentage of students in the “Exceeds the Standard” performance band and a decrease the percentage of students who are “Below the Standards.”
- Students in Grades K-8 will have access to and instruction in, an integrated technology which will enable them to utilize technology tools to research, develop and implement individualized learning opportunities.
Goal #5 – Increased Achievement by English Language Learners
The student population in Nebraska is changing, with increasing student diversity each year. Approximately 8% of the Fremont Public School’s student population receive English Language Learner (ELL) support which is above the state average of 5.96%.
An effective school is an equitable school – one that provides high expectations and appropriate resources so that all students can achieve to the same rigorous proficiency standards.
Increase the percentage of Fremont Public School’s ELL students who are proficient in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics.
- Develop and implement new language instructional programs and academic content instructional programs for limited English proficient students in early childhood, elementary and secondary programs such as Dual Language and Newcomer Programs.
- Identify and acquire curricula, instructional materials and educational software.
Show a continued improvement of FPS student’s level of proficiency compared to the state average by the 2018-19 school year.
- ELDA Scores
- LAS Scores
- NESA Scores
Student Group Reading Math Writing Science
ELL% Proficient State 54% 45% 44% 26%
ELL% Proficient FPS 43% 29% 32% 27%
Goal #6 Budget / Finance Strategies
The majority of the Fremont Public Schools budget is funded with local property taxes (approximately 45%) and State equalization aid (approximately 37%). The downturn in the economy in 2008 and 2009 created a funding deficit for Fremont Public Schools due primarily to minimal growth in assessed valuation. Two factors also contributed to the funding deficit: 1) Infusion of Federal stimulus package funds into the State Aid formula and 2) A growing trend of option enrollment students choosing to attend surrounding school districts.
Develop budget and financial strategies to limit expenditure growth and maximize revenues creating a balanced budget with current funding.
- Continue to monitor and scrutinize all openings and look for opportunities to create efficiencies without jeopardizing quality.
- Seek out creative funding opportunities including grants.
- Maximize State Aid components and State funding opportunities.
- Working with Financial Consultant, monitor bond market and identify opportunities to save money through restructuring/refunding current debt.
- Actively participate in lobbying efforts at the State level through organizations such as GNSA, NCSA and NASB to ensure that our needs are accurately communicated to State Senators and their staff.
- Create a balanced budget (current revenues vs. current expenditures) by the 2016-17 budget.
- Develop and implement marketing strategies including “Telling our Story,” and “Controlling the Message” utilizing community resources and available technology 2014-15 school year and ongoing..
- Develop replacement cycle schedules in the areas of transportation, nutrition services, technology, and facilities including infrastructure by 2016-17.
- Develop a long-range plan for financing replacement cycles
GOAL # 7 Participation of All Students in General Education Programs and Curriculum
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all children with disabilities must be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that is appropriate for them. The spirit of this requirement is to ensure that children are not unnecessarily removed from the regular classroom or isolated from other non-disabled children of their age.
The state special education rate has remained relatively stable, most recently at 14.66%.
Data for Fremont indicates a percentage well above the state average at 18.55%.
In addition, FPS has not met the state average target regarding the amount of time Special Education students spend in pull-out classrooms rather than remaining in the general education classrooms for instruction. FPS did not meet the following targets.
- Students in General Education at least 79% of the time (removed less than 21% of the day)
State Average – 72.20%
FPS Average – 54.39%
- Students in General Education less than 40% of the time (removed greater than 60% of the day)
State Average – 6.65%
FPS Average – 7.75%
- Student in Separate/Outside Placements
State Average – 2.74%
FPS Average – 6.98%
Implementation of initiatives started through the application of federal funding during the 2010-2011 school year will be continued and monitored to achieve improved performance of special education students as indicated by new state assessments, criterion-referenced assessments, and/or informal reading inventories. Progress will be made toward creating more inclusive classroom environments.
Every student at each grade level will be included in the general education program to the extent appropriate and reasonably achieved based on the individual needs and abilities. Faculty and staff members, including general education teachers, will be responsible for the implementation of identified accommodations and modifications as specified in the student’s IEP (Individual Educational Program or 504 Plan under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The need for this to be a standard belief and procedure is not optional.
One measure of such success will result from comparison of growth of the special needs population against the performance results achieved and reported across the State. The degree and level to which student performance within the district compares with that across the state and in similarly situated districts will serve as one metric.
Student growth and performance shall be reported to the Board of Education and public on an annual basis.
Data reviews will determine the degree to which special needs students achieve relative to past performance.
GOAL #8 Development of Proficiency in Appropriate Social Skills and Behaviors
Socialization which establishes boundaries and expectations regarding what is and is not appropriate and acceptable behavior begins with early interactions between the parent and child. These events are major contributors to preparations for properly addressing more complex social situations which will be experienced by children. An increased concern has been identified by local as well as regional educators concerning the degree to which inappropriate early behaviors on the part of children have become apparent. It is likely that this phenomenon could be traced to the broad-based risk factors that seem to accompany poverty and the fact that the poverty population has steadily grown.
The objective of social skills training focused to assist children and youth in establishing responses to complex social situations and actively demonstrate the means of functioning in ever-changing social environments will continue.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS)
PBIS is an application of a behaviorally-based approach and practice designed to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities. It is designed to improve the interrelationships and communications between participants and the environments where teaching and learning typically take place. The focus is placed on creating and maintaining support among all levels including the school, classroom, and individual in an effort to make positive behavior more desired and effective thus making negative behavior less relevant. Efforts to maintain and expand implementation of these concepts throughout the district shall continue with full K-12 implementation in place by September 2015.
Boys Town Training
The emphasis will continue on training to foster a common set of expectations, vocabulary, procedures, and proactive teaching models at all schools with full K-12 implementation by September 2016. This is an exacting task requiring time and resources to complete.
“Ready Set Learn”
Substitute teachers will again be utilized in working with kindergarten teachers for a period of five days at the beginning of the school year, depending on the needs of the students. The objective is to make a significant impact in assisting students to adapt to the routines, procedures, and structures of the school setting. This will be facilitated through the use of Kindergarten Social Skills Curriculum and Instruction Maps.
One measure of success will be determined by a comparison of office referrals and other serious disciplinary interventions that occur by grade level during the school year. Data will be disaggregated to determine the scope and tone of behavior infractions.
GOAL #9 Continuous Improvement Process-Building Goal Setting-Interventions-Periodic Evaluation
Effective district involvement in AdvancED requires a reasoned and systematic method of planning and action at the building level to assure that orderly process occurs. A plan has been set in place that provides for annual analysis of data at the outset of each school year, orderly use of all relevant data sources, development of smart goals to point the direction of developmental efforts at the building level, identification of actions to be taken to achieve the goals, and end-of-year analysis to determine mid-course corrections.
The function of a district-wide systematic and documented approach in buildings and programs is to establish a clear and understood method of planning and action that provide greater accountability and understanding by and for all participants.
- Initial implementation of Continuous Improvement Process in May 2013
- Implementation of Continuous Improvement Process manager online by April of 2014
- Professional development of users of CIP Manager by May 1, 2014
- Fall, mid-winter, and annual “wrap-up” report by building administrators indicating and demonstrating:
- Evidence used to verify school and program strengths
- Evidence that the goal or goals selected for building focus were necessary focal points as indicated by performance data
- Evidence of strategies/interventions that were implemented
- Evidence of effectiveness of interventions
- Discussion of “lessons learned” from the year’s effort
- Evidence of a plan to use results for continuation or modification of goals or interventions for the coming year
- Professional development needs and plans for the coming year to support the continuation or improvement of the goal focus
- Implementation of Professional Learning Communities in all buildings
Implementation of the process and actions to bring about the completion of this goal will be a fundamental determinant of the success of the undertaking. In addition, periodic monitoring of data and documentation at the building level by central office administration will also constitute verification of completion.
Monitoring student growth and development documentation will show functionality or difficulties with the system as implemented.