The Grain Valley School Board met September 1st for a workshop to review the academic program evaluation, 2022-23 annual priorities, and the Grain Valley High School Phase 6 planning update, which includes plans for a new gym at the school.
Nicole Young with hollis+miller architects reviewed initial draft plans for a new gym at the high school campus. The draft plan includes a 2,000-seat court with upper-level seating (current capacity of gym is 1,400), an upper-level track with turf area and batting cages.
In reviewing the academic program evaluation, funding and teacher shortages were a recurring theme. The district continues to be challenged by reductions in Title IIA funding and teacher retention. Title I funding, which provides financial assistance to schools with a high enrollment of students from economically challenged homes, was reduced from $279,390 in 2021-22 to $268,021 in 2022-23.
The district has expanded its dual credit offerings from 6 in 2017-18 to 10 in 2022-23, with additional opportunities being explored with Metropolitan Community Colleges. 65 students are enrolled in career & technical education for the 2022-23 school year. The district's gifted program served 75 students in 2021-22, and the addition of an additional gifted teacher was cited as a long term goal.
The district's English learners program has seen a steady increase of students, with approximately 45 students in the program this school year, compared with 27 in 2021-22.
The Board also reviewed the nine annual priorities outlined by the district for 2022-23:
1) As a part of efforts to improve early literacy instruction, by May 2023, all elementary teachers will complete foundational training in the Science of Reading.
2) By May 2023, secondary counselors with input from the district's Counseling Advisory Council, will establish a process for individual career and academic plans.
3) The Board will review enrollment numbers and growth at all elementary schools, and determine the next course of action to address growth at Prairie Branch Elementary.
4) As a part of the district's goal to integrate critical thinking skills into instruction, teachers will receive training in integrating critical thinking and administrators will evaluate effectiveness of instructional strategies through classroom observation throughout the year.
5) Responding to community input, the district will develop instruction in conflict resolution for all students in grades K-12.
6) In response to feedback from teachers as well as student and parent feedback from CESO listening sessions and focus groups regarding the need to address the use of derogatory comments among students, common language and expectations at each grade level have been set. The district will measure by May 2023, teacher perceptual survey data to see if the satisfaction level has increased among teachers in terms of their ability to effectively address negative behavior and the amount of support provided by administration and other district personnel.
7) The district will develop a budget plan by May 2023 to address the improvement of pay and/or benefits for teachers and staff.
8) Professional development of staff was identified as a priority and address in items related to the Science of Reading, critical thinking, and addressing student behavior.
9) The district will create a welcome program at each grade span to formalize how new families are welcomed to the district.