This school year is going to be a challenge for all schools in Nevada, including those in Lincoln County.
Assistant school superintendent Steven Hansen says the challenge will come from two new state mandated “educational initiatives,” and one that Lincoln County is doing by itself.
The two from the state, he said are the Nevada Comprehensive Curriculum Audit Tool, and Nevada Educator Performance Framework.
In 2012, so many of state schools were three-star schools, “and any school that was,” Hansen said, “has to do this audit. Basically, it’s a needs assessment. We will have people coming in we have hired from the state, to come in and do the curriculum audits and look at our schools, how we are teaching, how we are doing, and how we can improve and do better.”
The Nevada Educator Performance Framework is a required new evaluation process for both teachers and administrators that was passed by the legislature. Although the program will not be implemented fully around the state until 2014 or 2015, Hansen said the Lincoln County School District signed up to be a pilot participant in 2013. “We are going to start implementing this new evaluation tool this year.”
A third program, which is the school district is doing themselves is the Student Documentation Tool.
Hansen explained this year all teachers will be asked to begin documenting on computer an electronic file that contains educational data on every student in the district. “It’s like what the hospital is already doing, going for paper files, to electronic files for all patients.”
The files will contain the student’s assessment scores, goals to achieve, anything a teacher does with a student, curriculum being taught, any interventions or strategies used with the student, etc.
All the teachers will have access to the student records on computer. “You can do educational plans, academic plans, strategies, progress on assessments, educational growth, all the things previous teachers have tried to help the student with,” he said.
“It will help us know what we need to do for each child better than we ever had before. While it all been on paper, it has also been hard to track without computing the data on the paper. This new electronic program can plot the student’s progress on graphs, showing you how well they are progressing or not progressing. It’s going to help teachers be better teachers, and develop their lesson plans better, knowing what area needs to be given more coverage.”