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Council Bluffs Community School District is raising expectations for student achievement with its goals for the 2019-20 schoolyear.

The goals, announced during the Board of Education meeting Tuesday, reflect the priorities spelled out in Superintendent Vickie Murillo’s three-year plan released in 2017.

Corey Vorthmann, chief academic officer, presented most of the targets.

Improve academic achievement

• By 2021, 80% of students will score in the average, high average or high band on MAP Math and MAP Reading. This is consistent with earlier goals for 2021.

• By 2021, 60% of students will achieve their individual growth targets on MAP Math and MAP Reading. This is up from 50% last year, Vorthmann said. The target was raised because of faster-than-expected student improvement.

“We hit that goal two years early, so we decided to stretch that goal to 60 percent,” he said.

• By 2021, 100% of students will demonstrate growth as measured by the MAP math and MAP Reading.

“We ended last year just shy of 90% actually growing,” Vorthmann said.

Guarantee all graduates are future ready

• By 2021, 60 students will earn an associate degree or post-secondary certificate along with a high school diploma through the Early College Academy.

“We are on target to hit that goal,” Vorthmann said.

• By 2021, 50% of seniors will earn a high school diploma and a second credential. He added that officials hope to reach 100% by 2023.

Ensure all district buildings provide excellent learning environments through efficiency, modernization and preservation

• Complete Madison Campus remodel by summer 2019

“We’ve accomplished this goal, and we did it on time and under budget,” Vorthmann said.

He credited Darrel Meyer, project manager, and Staci Pettit, director of facilities and custodial services, with making sure that happened.

• Complete Kirn Middle School renovation by summer 2020

“Currently, it’s on time and on budget,” Vorthmann said.

• Complete Wilson Middle School renovation by summer 2021. The district plans to hold a hearing this fall on the plans and specifications for that project and try to lock in bids earlier in the year than they did with the Kirn project, he said.

• Complete a Master Facilities Plan by March 31, 2020. The district will have consultants come in and assess the conditions of district facilities and equipment and try to anticipate when HVAC systems and other expensive components might need to be replaced or undergo major repairs

Improve the social and emotional wellness of students through student support and professional development

Officials have been working toward becoming a trauma-informed school district, said Tim Hamilton, chief of student and family services. In June, 80 employees – teachers, paraeducators and principals – attended training, and 50 attended training in July, he said. Bus drivers were given a half-hour overview. On Aug. 16, 300 staff members showed up to hear a well-regarded guest speaker on the subject. Kirn staff received some training Thursday.

“Staff is really excited about this, principals are really excited about this,” he said.

The district will continue trauma-informed training for two years, Hamilton said.

“We felt this was really critical to (reaching) 100% on D + 1 pathways,” Murillo said.

• By 2021, improve student perception of self-management, using Panorama Survey data, one percentage band.

This means being able to be self-regulated through different kinds of experiences, Hamilton said.

• By 2021, increase the percentage of students that report that they like school or like school very much, using the Olweus Survey, by 6%.

• By 2021, increase to 90% the percentage of freshmen on track to graduate. Currently, about 83% of freshmen are at this point, Hamilton said.

Board member Troy Arthur asked what additional supports are needed.

The district has a lot of supports but needs to make sure they are “focused,” Hamilton said. Graduation coaches will have an important role in this.

“How do we keep from losing kids from middle school to high school?” Arthur asked.

Said Murillo, “I can’t tell you we’ll ever cast a net large enough to save every kid, but we are aligning our resources and doing everything we can to (support) those students.”

In setting the goals, cabinet members started by asking what schools need, she said.

The administration will update the board three times a year, Hamilton said.

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