Deeper look at student progress needed | Letters

At the San Juan Island School District Board Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, the board will receive a report from the Center for Education Effectiveness that summarizes the results of student, parent and staff surveys as well as student performance on state assessments. These results are evidence of progress in specific areas identified by the district. The board is prudent to have an annual review to monitor the progress of students and staff in meeting the board goals. Unfortunately, there are several areas of concern related to the survey results. In addition, although the student performance is presented as positive when compared to the state, the actual results are mixed and indicate a need for most students to learn, understand and apply the state standards at a deeper level.

There are many factors that affect the staff, student and parent perceptions of the district as well as affect the daily learning environment for students and staff. Since the current agreements are only for the current school year, an ongoing concern about salaries and working conditions cannot help but be felt throughout the school community.

A critical challenge for the board is to work constructively to move forward with enduring agreements that span multiple years and remove these concerns from our classrooms.

During the negotiations, the teachers cited Coupeville as a comparable district for the purpose of matching expectations for salaries. Coupeville may also be a suitable comparison district to match expectations for student performance progress. This may be a more relevant comparison than a comparison to state performance. Looking at student performance in Coupeville may lead to a deeper analysis of what might be possible next year in the SJID student performance report.

Let’s try to achieve Coupeville’s graduation rate of 93.5 percent!

Ruth McKenna

Candidate for Director 1, San Juan Island School District