The Superior Express -

Superior school board approves curriculum goals

 


Members of the Superior Board of Education met in the high school library Monday evening. Each sat at a designated table. All were present. Also present were Kim Williams, Sharon Biltoft, Bob Cook, Doug Hoins, Supt. Marty Kobza, Logan Christiancy and a member of the press. Most had a table to themselves. Thus the meeting room occupied at least half of the library space. It is the first time all the board members had met in person since March, when the local area was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines.

SMART goals were the main focus of considerable information and discussion. SMART is an acronym for S-specific goal, M-measurable, A-attainable, R-relevant and T-time bound.

Supt. Kobza reviewed math and reading SMART goals and explained related terminology. In general, the goals state five percent more students will meet the appropriated MAP grade level RIT score within the next year’s instructional period. Supt. Kobza explained a RIT score as the range a student should be within to be at a grade level.

Currently about half of Superior school students preformed at their appropriate grade level. Supt. Kobza repeatedly said, “We would like 85 to 90 to percent of our students score within their grade level RIT.”

Peggy Meyer, board member, questioned if a goal of five percent was too easy. “With our small class size, it is only about one student per class.”

Supt. Kobza agreed he expected it to be an easily reached goal, but then said, “It might be more challenging than you think. Our approach has to be consistent over a long period of time.”

He continued, “When you are learning a new process you want a small victory. With a small victory, I am motivated and will continue to work.”

“I am really proud of the staff.” he said, “They are working extremely hard. I give them lots of credit. They have been receptive.”

Luke Meyer and Matt Sullivan, both board members, indicated support for the SMART goals. Sullivan has long been frustrated with testing which did not appear to provide data to determine specific teaching strategies.

Supt. Kobza said to the board, “I appreciate the discussion and your questions. This is the most discussion on academics of any of the 16 years I have been a superintendent. Academics is why we are here.”

With that, board members unanimously approved four SMART goals. One for elementary math, one for elementary reading, one for middle and high school math and one for middle school and high school reading.

In other business, board members approved taking $617,602 from the general fund for May expenditures. They also approved an interlocal agreement for an occupational therapist and an agreement for social worker services. The occupational therapist agreement is an extension of a longstanding agreement with the South Central Unified School District and the Blue Hill School District. This is the second year for the social worker agreement with Brodstone Memorial Hospital.

Supt. Kobza expects to utilize the services of the social worker more this year. Last year “she served as a counselor to individual students and worked with anger management,” he said, “However, probably the greatest benefit was helping families in need of support connect to other agencies.”

Logan Christiancy, technology specialist, reviewed a list of computer related equipment listed for disposal. Much of it is Windows 7 related. The school now uses Windows 10. A recycler from Minnesota will pick up the equipment for free and often sends a payback check. They will also pickup the ballasts removed from the light fixtures. To date the school has received $12,500 from previous obsolete equipment collected by the firm.

Forty Superior High School students took 101 college classes this year. Twenty-nine students received dual credit for college algebra, nine for American History, 13 for college English. There were 32 various independent study classes and 18 became certified nursing assistants.

Credits were earned from Central Community College, Fort Hays University, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Peru State College, Southeast Community College, University of Nebraska Lincoln and Wayne State College. The classes cost the district $24,000. Supt. Kobza expects tuition to be $15 per credit hour next year compared to more than $100 per credit hour this year. He said, “It will be a tremendous savings to the school.”

Prior to Monday’s meeting,the grounds and building committee had toured the building and looked at summer projects. Work is on schedule for air conditioning the gymnasiums. Nearly all interior four-foot LED retrofits are complete.

Supt. Kobza expects the air conditioning system to be completed and working for the July 18 high school graduation ceremony planned for the high school gymnasium.

Under Phase II reopening guidelines issued by the South Heartland District Health Department, 300 people can attend graduation exercises in the gymnasium. Each senior will receive seven tickets for the event planned for 10 a.m., Saturday, July 18.

A budget workshop is planned for Wednesday, July 24, starting at 6:30 p.m. It is expected to last at least two hours.

Summer school is expected to start the last week of July and go into August. It will be for students not performing at their grade level.

Fifty-seven students signed up for the summer meal program. Meals are prepared and delivered curbside in front of the high school.

After the meeting, board members toured parts of the building where new LED lights have been installed. Brad Bilfoft said, “They have really made a difference.”

This week a company is cleaning the ductwork in the gymnasium and locker rooms. Supt. Kobza reported approximately 3 inches of dirt had settled in the gymnasium ductwork. He suspects the ducts has not been cleaned since the building was built.

As part of the CARES Act, the school will receive between $70,000 and $80,000 to cover expenses related to COVID-19.

 

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