509-J evaluates superintendent
An evaluation of School District 509-J Superintendent Ken Parshall has begun. Parshall is in his first year, as superintendent, along with being Principal of Warm Springs K-8 Academy. Evaluations are done annually.
At the April 23 509-J Board of Directors' meeting, Parshall reported on accomplishments in meeting the district's action plan for 2017-18, and progress made in eight other areas under his leadership.
The 2017-18 action plan was to: improve student achievement, enhance communication, increase family engagement, and align management of systems and resources.
Parshall said, with the support of the administrative team and staff:
. For student achievement, he provided high-quality training for teachers on the Advancement Via Individual Determination teaching method, started schoolwide and districtwide teacher groups to develop common unit plans to make instruction in all schools uniform, and supported ongoing feedback and coaching for teachers.
Monthly teacher and classified employee communication groups were also formed, and teacher leaders were included in administration team meetings to improve communication.
. Working with the school board, he started a board leadership meeting to review the agenda prior to meetings, and inform the board of potential issues in advance of meetings. He tries to promote positive media stories about school successes in the 509-J District.
. District policy: With the help of the Oregon School Boards Association, Parshall and the 509-J board have begun reviewing and updating all district policies.
"This is a huge endeavor, which the district hasn't done for 10 years," Parshall said, noting they would tackle a group of policies at each meeting. "The goal is to start clean for the new 2018-19 year," he added.
. Civil rights: Last spring, the district had an onsite review by the Civil Rights Career Technical Education agency and several suggestions for improvement were made, which need to be completed by September 2019.
The suggestions were mostly adjustments to give equal opportunity to male and female students, translate documents into Spanish, so all parents can understand them, and to install grab bars, chairlifts, etc., to meet handicap accessibility. Emphasis was on making career and technical education classes available to all.
. Impact Aid: He formed an Indian Education Advisory Committee of tribal leaders for a more collaborative process on tribal student education needs.
. Curriculum: A top consulting firm was hired to help align math teaching standards districtwide. Mary Cadez was hired to help with the development of Native American social studies lessons, done collaboratively with staff from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Culture and Heritage Department, as called for by new federal law.
. Grants: Grants secured include a Meyer Memorial Trust grant for Native language and literacy, a collaboration planning grant, and a state district improvement grant. During his 2 1/2 years at 509-J, Parshall personally has been involved in bringing nearly $3 million in grants to the district.
. listened to needs, then hired two full-time substitute teachers to address the shortage of certified substitutes. Educational assistants were also placed on troubled bus routes to assist with student behavior.
In other business, a group of Madras High School JROTC cadets attended the meeting, performed a drill for the board, and accepted a prisoner of war/missing in action flag from VFW Post 12141 Commander Leonard Hellwig and other VFW members.
The board accepted a $25,000 Technical Assistance Program grant from the Oregon Department of Education to be used to perform earthquake safety assessments at Metolius and Madras elementaries. A $10,000 ODE District and School improvement Grant was also accepted.
Under personnel, Michael Kuehl and Crista Kuehl were hired to teach special education at Warm Springs K-8 Academy.