Park City schools juggle state funds
November 18, 2009
At the Nov. 3 meeting of the Park City Board of Education, several school administrators presented their proposals to shift some of the money the district receives from School Trust Lands to more academic improvement plans and training for instructors.
Administrators from McPolin Elementary, Ecker Hill International Middle, and Treasure Mountain International schools were among those who presented. A large portion of their plans involved improving standardized test scores for students.
Treasure Mountain International School is hoping to increase their 8th and 9th grade proficiency scores on the CRT tests at the end of each schooling year. The proposal is for Treasure Mountain students to have access to lots of different resources, including a Language Arts grader and an increase in use of the SIOP Model.
The school’s administration is also hoping to improve computer literacy of both the students and faculty, and have a larger use of technology in the classroom. In order for the methods to be effective, students need to continue to use the technological resources available to them. However, Treasure Mountain administrators report that their resources are limited and the level of instruction needs to improve.
Ecker Hill International Middle School is hoping to raise the number of 6th and 7th grade students scoring a 3 (proficient) or a 4 (substantial) by 15 percent on the Language Arts CRT tests. Along with an increase in numbers, the school would like to continue to maintain the number of students scoring well. Ecker Hill is simply looking for funding to increase instructor knowledge on a subject matter or provide more resources able to be available to students.
Secondly, the administration is looking to provide teachers with development in certain school improvement strategies like curriculum mapping (the focus on the balance between what really took place in individual classrooms against what was collaboratively planned) and the use of technology to increase learning. Conferences and workshops are the go-to plan; but additional financial resources are needed.
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McPolin Elementary School proposed to further implement the SIOP, or Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, Model. The SIOP Model was developed to make content material comprehensible to English language learners. using the program’s specific instructional strategies, teachers will be able to design and deliver lessons that address the academic and linguistic needs of English learners as well as raise student CRT testing scores. Although students have scored relatively high within the past few years, scores can always go up. Along with funding for instating the SIOP Model, additional funding for the After School Enrichment Program is also needed. This "homework club" is a chance for students to get one-on-one tutoring, and extremely beneficial to testing scores schoolwide.
All three schools have drawn up budget plans to be approved, but no decision was finalized during the meeting. The Board of Education will wait until other district schools have had the chance to present their proposals before reaching a conclusion. The board hopes to finalize its recommendations at its meeting on Dec.8.