Aspen school leaders set goals for upcoming year
ASPEN – The Aspen School District has set seven priorities for the 2012-13 school year that range from academic to financial to asset management.
According to Aspen Superintendent John Maloy, the district’s priorities – which are not ranked in any way but are mostly “directly related to the continuous improvement of teaching and learning in the district,” according to Maloy – were presented to the Board of Education at its annual retreat last week.
Among the academic priorities are numeracy and literacy, which were previously targeted academic areas. Progress in those areas will be discussed and documented over the school year through the school board’s ongoing “ends report” process.
Also on the list for the coming school year are technology and educator effectiveness.
In the technology category, the district has set several goals, including: identification of the technology skills that need to be integrated into the K-4 curriculum; continuing to provide and expand professional development for teachers; increasing access to technology for students; and having the technology coordinator provide a districtwide three- to five-year technology plan with approximate costs no later than September.
Educator effectiveness was made a priority for 2012-13 because “great teachers and great leaders matter. We know that classroom teaching and principal leadership are the strongest predictors of student achievement,” stated a memo from Maloy to the Board of Education. It is also a state mandate. Under SB191, teachers and administrators are now required to meet certain statutory requirements, so educator effectiveness must rise to the top of the priority list, according to Maloy.
“There continues to be greater expectations placed on districts by the state with fewer dollars to support these greater expectations,” he said. “Plus there are new initiatives, which include such topics as accountability, standards, testing and educator effectiveness.”
Maloy also shared with the school board his goals for the upcoming school year, which include a risk-management review, potential changes to the Aspen High School schedule, completion of the elementary and middle school playgrounds, finalization of a master agreement with the teachers association and continued recognition of the district, such as “Accredited with Distinction” by the Colorado Department of Education and rankings in such places as U.S. News and World Report.
Maloy said his priorities will be revisited in December and followed up on in July.
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The city of Aspen and Pitkin County are partnering to buy a 274-acre tract of land off McLain Flats for $10 million on property owned by longtime residents Carolyn and Tom Moore.