English-language learning, Common Core standards and report cards on agenda

The West Linn-Wilsonville School District released preliminary 2013-14 enrollment numbers at the Monday school board meeting.

The total enrollment of 8,974 included 3,994 at the primary level, 2,131 at the middle schools and 2,849 at the high schools. That total represents an increase of 246 over enrollment figures from March 2013.

Explaining that the district is still cleaning its lists, Assistant Superintendent Kathy Ludwig said the numbers were subject to change and would be updated at month’s end. New teachers were hired to accommodate the increased student numbers.

School report cards,

professional development

Deputy Superintendent Jane Stickney previewed the new state-mandated school report cards the district will release this fall. They will use a weighted system that includes factors such as academic achievement, academic growth and subgroup growth.

Superintendent Bill Rhoades announced receipt of a professional development grant from Oregon Department of Education. The district is advancing plans to mentor first- and second-year teachers and is planning an Oct. 11 mentoring summit. Eighteen WL-WV teachers and one administrator will be eligible for mentoring under the grant.

2008 bond update

Director of Operations Tim Woodley provided an update on the $98 million 2008 capital bond, now in its final year. Work on 209 line items, representing 77 projects, is nearly complete with approximately 93.9 percent of the budget committed. The uncommitted surplus, approximately $6 million, is largely the result of a favorable economic climate for capital projects, Woodley said. Two remaining projects, kitchen work at Rosemont Ridge Middle School and athletic storage at Wood Middle School, may no longer be necessary, he added.

“In my mind we’re pretty close to done,” Woodley said, predicting a positive balance as the bond winds down. His department is preparing a new list of priorities for the long-range planning committee’s consideration.

Language learning and Common Core

Ludwig reported that WL-WV had received “not met” ratings on state-required English language learning targets, called annual measurable achievement objectives or AMAOs. AMAO 1 measures the annual increase in progress among students learning English. AMAO 2 has two parts: The first measures the total number of English language learners (ELLs) obtaining proficiency and the second applies only to ELLs who have been in the program for five or more years. AMAO 3 measures progress in reading and math, as measured by the OAKS assessment.

With 272 ELL students for the 2012-13 school year, WL-WV did not meet any of those AMAOs, a shortcoming that both Ludwig and Rhoades attributed to a changing cohort and the annual increase in state targets, among other factors.

The district’s ELL development plan for 2013-14 includes setting improvement goals and reviewing individual student data to learn why the district failed to meet the AMAOs.

The development plan is included in the school district’s budget.

“Absolutely, we have work to do and we’re absolutely committed to doing the work to close the gaps,” Rhoades said.

Stickney provided more information about Common Core standard and described a “portrait” of students who meet standards. She offered a simple summary of Common Core.

“If there was one word to describe the whole process, it would be ‘complexity,’” she said. “Increasing complexity. ... The goal of all this is to have children who graduate with high levels of competence and skill.”

The district will begin to implement Common Core standards this school year, with assessment against those standards beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

The school board will hold a work session Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. The long-range planning committee will meet Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.

The next regular board meeting will be Oct. 7. All meetings are open to the public and will be held at the school district office building, located at 22210 SW Stafford Road.

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