RCAPS reviews policy on superintendent evaluation, public participation

REED CITY – While the procedure for evaluating Reed City Area Public Schools’ superintendent will remain the same, the board of education voted Monday to change the timing.

During a regular meeting, the board unanimously supported moving the formal superintendent evaluation to December; it previously was done at the end of the school year. An informal evaluation now will take place at the end of the school year instead of in December.

The change in school board election dates prompted the switch. Now that school board elections take place in November of even years instead of every May, the RCAPS board potentially could have four new members at a time. With new members joining the board in January, the end of the school year would not give them enough time to effectively evaluate the superintendent’s work, said board president Dan Boyer.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a resolution to authorize certain individuals to sign for financial interactions, updated its retirement policy to comply with new state regulations and approved the coaching roster.

The board also read through an updated version of its public participation policy for board meetings. The proposed change would reword the section on placing an item on the agenda versus bringing it up in public comment. The board will review the change and vote on it at a later meeting.

Response To Intervention teachers presented data on the results of their work. A team of RTI teachers works with general classroom teachers at every grade level at the elementary school to identify students struggling in specific areas and help them improve.

The interventions focus on math and reading skills, and students are tested three times a year to monitor their progress. Data on reading skills showed significant improvement from the beginning of the 2011-12 school year to the end.

“Our job as RTI teachers is to work closely with classroom teachers to see specifically what students are struggling with,” said Tracie Koopman, a fifth-grade Title I teacher who is part of the RTI team.

G.T. Norman Elementary School principal Tonya Harrison commended the group on their commitment to improving student learning.

“What the RTI team does is make teaching very intentional,” she said. “They’re narrowing down the specific needs that our kids have. … It allows for differentiated instruction on a whole new level that for a general education teacher becomes so overwhelming.”

The board will meet again at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the board room.