State legislation may change teacher evaluations

REED CITY — State legislation could change the professional development and evaluation of teachers and school staff. On Monday, Reed City Area Public Schools’ superintendent gave a legislative update to school board members.

The new proposed teacher evaluation, which Gov. Rick Snyder is supporting, shows less emphasis on students’ performance data, said Tim Webster, RCAPS superintendent.

“It’ll be interesting to see if that passes,” Webster said. “It appears the state is backing off data collection in regards to teacher evaluations. The data section is so difficult to collect in a fair way. It’s too easy for administrators to manipulate the data.

“This is a big turnaround compared to what we have seen in the last three or four years. One of the biggest frustrations educators have is that the state keeps changing the rules.”

He also noted the Legislature is considering heavily evaluating third grade reading comprehension.

“The Legislature is proposing that if you’re not reading at a certain level in third grade, you won’t be promoted to fourth grade,” Webster said. “That proposal has a lot of people very nervous.”

Webster also brought up a report State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released in September, which shows the number of districts with budget deficits. New legislation would create an “early warning system,” that would cause the state to intervene before districts could fall into deficit.

In other business, RCAPS’ central office will be taking over School Dude, a platform that manages the schedule and use of the district’s facilities and coach’s practices. Previously, the system was run by staff members in GT Norman Elementary School. The School Dude calendar is now on the district’s website.

The board also approved to add Fremont Public Schools to the Central State Athletics Association. Big Rapids Public Schools’ board also approved the motion last week.

RCAPS’ student council announced the group’s next members, chosen through a nomination process.

Students who join the council must have a 2.5 grade point average, three teachers’ signatures to confirm leadership potential, signatures of 30 classmates who confirm the student’s nomination, two documented times during the last year during which the student volunteered in the community outside of the school day.

As a team-building activity, the council recently traveled to Renucci Hospitality House to serve a meal to those staying at the facility.

Reed City High School’s newly elected student council members:

  • Freshmen: Catherine Kettner, Hunter Morrison, Alyssa Olds, Seth Phelps, Jordan Root, Emily Ruppert, Madi Sunderlin, Makenzie Wanstead and Jocelyn Wirth
  • Sophomores: Taylor Cutler, Harlee Fuller, Kara Hulliberger, Megan MacDonald, Andrew Shewan, Sabrina Somers and Danielle Sundquist
  • Juniors: Elizabeth Buss, McKenzie Cornelius, Julianne Griffin, Lindsey Kienitz, Bethany Maciejewski, Emily Shewan, Colt Start, Skylar Sundquist, Tyler White, Hannah Zigman and Emily Zolman
  • Seniors: Madilyn Allen, Natalie Baughn, Lindsey Greer, Lily Heald, Joseph Gerring, Nate Mora, Remonda Nashed and Devlin Powers