School board receives update on AIMS scoresBy Bruce Whetten
The AIMS scores and what the grade the schools in the Douglas Unified School District received from those scores was one of several topics at the Douglas school board meeting Aug. 21.
Beverly Enriquez, Douglas’ Director of Curriculum and Federal Programs, presented a 45 minute presentation showing where each school showed gains as well as minuses.
Overall the DUSD received a letter grade of a C. Enriquez pointed out to the point the DUSD was five points shy of receiving a B.
Most schools showed improvement, she said at the meeting.
Stevenson Elementary was the only school to receive a B. Douglas High School and Huber Middle Schools both received C’s and Faras Elementary and Ray Borane Middle Schools each landed D’s.
Stevenson showed loses in third grade math and reading but gains in all other areas.
Joe Carlson showed losses in fourth grade but gains everywhere else improving from a D last year to a C this year.
Sarah Marley, which landed a D last year but improved to a C this year despite having lower scores in third grade reading and math and fifth grade math.
Clawson received a C last year and was given a C again this year. Clawson showed losses in fifth grade math and reading but gains everywhere else. Unfortunately, Enriquez said, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has deemed Clawson a “focus school” which means they (the ADE) will be monitoring the school this school year.
Faras Elementary in Pirtleville, landed D’s last year and this year and showed gains all around except for third grade reading. Despite the gains Enriquez said the state has named Faras a “priority school” which means the ADE will be monitoring this school closely not only this year but also the next three years until progress is made.
Huber received C’s last year and again this year and showed gains in all three grade levels in reading.
Ray Borane received a D last year and again this year. Enriquez said they showed gains in all three grade levels in math. Although Ray Borane has a D grade this year and last they have been labeled as underperforming by the state. There have been increases in their scores every year.
DHS showed gains in reading this past year and has been able to maintain their C grade.
Enriquez added the ADE has just announced another new evaluation system coming but she did not have any more details that she could share with the board.
Board member Mike Ortega said regardless of the improvement shown by the schools the bottom line is the overall score.
“We may show gains but the score is still what it is,” he said, adding that’s what people look at when deciding about whether or not to move their families to Douglas
Board president Mario Ramos said he and the rest of the board are happy with the improvements shown but not satisfied with the grades given. He encouraged Enriquez and her staff to work with the teachers towards continued improvement to bring these grades up.
In other action at the board meeting the board tabled any discussion/action on their top 10 priorities for the 2013 Legislative Session for consideration by the Arizona School Board Association.
Also tabled was a proposed plan by Med-Trans Air Medical Transport for the DUSD and its students.
The board did approve the implementation of part-time workers Life Insurance.
Numerous donations were also approved by the district.
The board approved the first reading of DUSD #27 policy manuals for review and revision by the Arizona School Board Association with the exception of four different policies regarding professional/support staff sick leave, copyright compliance, field trips and community use of school facilities.
Numerous hires were approved at the board meeting. Alfred Novoa is the new GEAR UP Coordinator; Arianna Ibarra, Joel Ramirez, Luis Alvarez, Timothy Phillips, Roberto Hoffman, Irene Lopez and Vanessa Banuett were all hired as substitute teachers. Lorena Tapia was hired as an assistant volleyball coach; Mario Romero was named the head girls’ soccer coach; Caryn Ice, yearbook advisor; Wesly Ford and Michael Goodwin, band and music instructors; Ron Ellsworth, Driver’s Ed Insructor and Clint Hill, weight room supervisor.
The 21st Century After School Program approved the hiring and renewals for the following individuals: Connie Klein, David Campas, Kelly Showalter, Edmund Garcia, Jessica Castillo, Diane Lomeli, Eduardo Molina and Cyndy Ortega.
The following were approved as Department Chairs for DHS: Jill Forsythe, English; Bianca Hernandez, Math; David Campas, Social Science; Abigail Griffin, Foreign Language/Fine Art; Ruth Deboer, Special Education; Andrea Arnejo, Science and David Diaz, CTE.
Also hired as classified staff were: Stella Garcia, Augustine Ballesteros, Johnny Bess, Maria Velasco, Elsa Sanchez, Ana Saavedra, Dolores Newman and Danielle Quinonez.
The board approved the resignations of Ward Cinnamon and Elena Rascon.
Numerous parent volunteers were also approved as coaches and parent volunteers at various schools around the district.
The next regular board meeting will be Sept. 4. The board also announced a joint meeting with the Douglas City Council and the DUSD Board to discuss development of a Joint Recreation Program and Community Strategic Plan will be held Sept. 13 at the Douglas Visitors Center.