July 1, 2017

Priorities and progress

By James Barrett

I started this post in 2012 to track some of what I wanted to work on on the school board over my first 2 years and have updated with my status as much as possible. There isn’t necessarily an order to this list, and it won’t be exhaustive (it is probably longer than it should be), but these are the things I think we need to do differently for sure.

Priority Timeframe How measure Results
Achievement Gap Ongoing Hire a Gap Czar to focus on steps CHCCS can take to close the gap Associate Superintendent named in Jan 2012 to specifically address equity (since converted to Director position). Need to ensure focus on execution across the district for results that meet our expectations.  New superintendent likes to say “equity is the work”, which focuses the entire district’s attention on this.
Budget process / transparency 17-18 budget A clear budget that either prioritizes where we spend aligned with our priorities and goals or a strong request for why we need more money to our funders Drove staff to add new “where do we spend our $” pages to budget that actually explain in English how we use our resources.
Older school facilities 2013-2026 Plans approved by Town of Chapel Hill for Lincoln Center Pre-K and expanded Phoenix Academy project.  CHHS work from voter-approved bonds underway Lincoln Pre-K will deliver world-class education for our youngest students, helping to keep achievement gaps from ever opening. Expanded Phoenix will deliver more opportunities for students who need it to be successful (including improved CTE options such as bio-med).  CHHS will be an economical but innovative learning space for 40% of our students.
Measure growth ongoing Use of growth metrics, including pre- and post-unit tests, to show great teachers and those that need help. Focusing on growing each and every student expected or more.  Still work to be done here. Is a focus area for new long-range plan I hope to help make a reality.
Technology use for excellent instruction ongoing Ensure new investments in technology are focused on improving instruction for all students. Use technology to extend reach of great teachers.  Still work to be done here. Is a focus area for new long-range plan I hope to help make a reality.
Gifted Plan Aug 2016 Ensure a plan is in place that is measureable, meets our district priorities and goals, solves problems such as underidentification of minority students. New plan is more easily understood and correctly focuses on equity, but need to continue follow-through to ensure we are delivering results.

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