Dysart board OKs school name, mascot, colors; Annual evaluation reveals most district teachers meet standards

Dysart Unified School District building [Courtesy of DUSD]

By Jennifer Jimenez, Independent Newsmedia

Dysart Unified School District officials announced a proposed plan Nov. 8, which included potentially closing Parkview Elementary School and redesigning and reopening the facility to house a new traditional school (“District may close, redesign school; Could reopen other campus, redraw boundaries,” Surprise Today, Nov. 14, 2018).

District Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis said school officials are working to flesh out details ahead of the Governing Board’s consideration of the proposal.

“As we continue pre-planning for future action, the administration recommended some planning ahead for potential board action for elementary No. 16, including a potential name, mascot and school colors,” Mr. Kellis said.

Assistant Superintendent for Education Dr. Stephen Poling said the committee provided extensive feedback and the group was excited to be a part of the process. Committee members were adamant about the colors of red, white and blue, he said.

The group decided on the name Freedom Traditional Academy with the mascot of the Firebirds. The Governing Board approved the recommendation from the committee at the panel’s Nov. 18 regular meeting at the Nathaniel Dysart Education Center, 15802 N. Parkview Place.

The proposed new traditional school will have a separate enrollment application process for the 2019-20 school year; the enrollment beings Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 and closes on Friday, Jan. 25. Students will be selected based on past grades, attendance and discipline records.

Mr. Kellis thanked school staffers and the community for their efforts and input.

“Their willingness to participate in decisions is wonderful and the same goes for staff and leadership,” Mr. Kellis said.

Teacher evaluations

Human Resources Administrator Steve Mattingly presented the board with a report on Teacher Final Effectiveness Classification Results from the 2017-18 school year.

Mr. Mattingly explained the evaluation process.

“The process entails assistant principals, principals, teachers and certified staff and is a rigorous process that starts with site administrators in learning focus conversations, then a certification process for qualified evaluators, personalized training with administrative staff and a secondary observation program,” Mr. Mattingly explained.

Results of the 1,262 evaluations were broken down into four classifications: highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective.

There were 701 highly effective teachers identified in the report, which was an increase of 3 percent over last year at 55.55 percent.

There were 501 teachers that well into the effective classification for a drop of 4 percent and a total of 39.70 percent. 51 were rated as developing for an increase of .56 percent and a total of 4.04 percent.

Nine teachers garnered the ineffective classification for an increase of .32 percent and a total of .71 percent.

Those teachers who fell into the classification of ineffective will attend weekly meetings with highly qualified evaluators to ensure they are getting resources they need to improve.

There is also an evaluation rubric the district has assigned for various specialties that are not classroom teachers.

With room to improve, Mr. Mattingly said the district is now getting the specialized areas outside of teaching narrowed down through evaluations.

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