Archive for Wednesday, May 22, 2002

School district’s accomplishments touch community

May 22, 2002

Our school district its students, board members, employees and patrons have accomplished much during the 2001-2002 school year.

I know that our building principals have discussed many of these successes in their columns, but I would like to relate a few more positive stories:

Phil Williams was recognized as the 4A Cross Country Coach of the Year for Kansas.

The USD 464 student enrollment increased 24 students from last year the first time in six years enrollment has Increased.

These students were inducted into the Tonganoxie High School Honor Society: Seniors: Stephanie Chenoweth, Melissa High, Joseph Sledd, Lynsey Wedd. Juniors: Andrew Becker, Stephanie Dunlap, Hollie Fritz, Brian Gravatt, Jonathan Gripka, Tara Gurss, Lisa Holton, Abbie Jones, Beth Knetter, Megan Lawrence, David Lindquist, Janelle McCoy, Christie Menhusen, Megan Needham, Mat Overbaugh, Caleb Poterbin, Thomas Powell, Paul Reetz, Jennifer Reischman, Laura Samuels, Britain Stites, Kimberly Sturgeon and Kelly Woelk.

The Friends of Education Award Program is a statewide program that recognizes individuals, businesses, and organizations that support public education in an outstanding way. This year's honorees are: Richard Riedel, community leader; Kathy Baragary, school volunteer; The Mirror newspaper, private-public institution; and the Tonganoxie Volunteer Center, civic organization.

USD 464 under the leadership of Tammie George began a five- to seven-year process of implementing the Phi Delta Kappa curriculum audit recommendations. The intent is to raise student achievement and provide a blue print for curriculum development.

Senior Thomas Gilner was one of 800 students whose artwork was chosen for the University of Kansas Regional Art Exhibit. There were 3,800 student art pieces that were submitted for the exhibit.

The following are some areas I feel should be reviewed and discussed as we continue to strive to improve the best of educational programs and services for our students:

There is still a need for continued work in raising student test scores on the Kansas State Assessments and particularly the Stanford Achievement Test and the ACT. USD 464 students have the ability to score well above the state average and approach the standard of excellence. USD 464 students also have the ability to achieve a class average in the 60th to 80th percentile rank on the Stanford Achievement Test. This fact continues to be proven by the achievement of students at Tonganoxie Junior High School. Students at THS have the ability to raise their average ACT scores from 19 to 24+.

The curriculum audit makes a number of recommendations for district curriculum policy development and improvement process development, curriculum long range plan development, curriculum management planning, school improvement planning, student and program assessment planning, and administrative processes and procedures to insure curriculum improvement and evaluation. The ultimate goal of this program will be to raise student achievement on the state and national assessments.

I appreciate the board's willingness to hire an architect to begin the development of a long range facilities improvement plan for USD 464. There is a great deal of work to accomplish in the future in working with the Capital Improvement Committee, the architect, employees, and patrons in developing a plan that meets USD 464 facility needs and a plan that most taxpayers will support.

Communication needs to continue to be a priority at all levels.

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