School board discusses graduation rates
GRAFTON – The Grafton School Board met on Tuesday morning for their regular monthly meeting. The Dec. 17 meeting minutes were approved without discussion as was the consideration of bills, payroll and financial reports.
The board was informed that the AdvancED external review report has been completed and the Grafton School District has scored a 2.49 on the review. The AdvancED standards and indicators are the first of three primary areas of evaluation for AdvancED’s performance accreditation model. Using indicator-specific performance levels, the external review team evaluates the degree to which the institution meets each indicator on a scale of one to four. The scores assigned to the indicators are averaged to arrive at a single score. This score along with scores from evaluations of student performance and stakeholder feedback is used to determine the accreditation status of the institution.
Superintendent Jack Maus commented that the score is an overall positive score but work is needed in the areas of low income and minority students.
The full report will be available on the Grafton Public Schools website.
The board was presented with the current attendance and graduation rates. Every year the district, in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Instruction, publishes an annual progress report on student achievement called the school district profile. This report is now available on the school website. This report demonstrates the progress students are making in terms of academic standards.
The average daily attendance for the state of North Dakota is 93 percent. Grafton public schools came in at 96.4 percent for 2012-2013.
The graduation rate for the state is 82.8 percent, Grafton comes in at 82.8 percent.
According to the superintendent report, Maus reports that one reason for the lower graduation rates is that Grafton schools are becoming more diverse. Another factor is the poverty rate has been increasing. A majority (53.6 percent) of the students are considered low income. As reflected in the AdvancED report this continues to be an area of concern. Maus reports graduation rates have continued to improve during a steady increase in English Language Learners and low income poverty graduation rates. There are still gaps in high school graduation rates, but the percentages for all students are increasing and dropout rates are declining.
The board approved the 2014-2015 school calendar. The start date will be August 27, 2014 and the last day of school is May 28, 2015. The calendar includes 186 teacher days, 175 student contact days, one teacher work day, three holidays and two parent/teacher conference days. The calendar also includes eight early dismissals which will be the second Wednesday of each month.
In other business the board
•Approved the motion needed for a resolution authorizing and establishing the terms of $14 million General Obligation State School Construction Fund Bonds, Series 2014, creating a Sinking Fund therefore, and levying taxes for their payment
• Accepted and approved the early retirement request by Deb McKay. Application requests for replacement will begin immediately.
• Approved the revised plan for English Language Learning.
• Approved the destruction of nonessential documents that have become five-years old.
• The weather makeup day for Jan. 6 will be Friday, March 7. It is the Friday of the state boys basketball tournament which is in Grand Forks.