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8:35 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

HUSD: Governing Board outlines goals at summit

Humboldt School District Governing Board President Howard Moody said at the start of the board's summit July 21, "In my view, board members have two responsibilities-hiring a superintendent and setting district goals."

Schmitt said district officials would review the 2008-09 goals to learn what "worked and what didn't. If we want to move from good to great, we have to be brutally honest about where our weaknesses are."

Assistant Superintendent Dean Slaga said he hopes to take the district's three primary goals - student achievement, planning for the future and community involvement - "one stop further."

In the area of student achievement, Slaga said school officials would work to move students who met state standards on the AIMS (Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards) into the exceeds standards category.

"We were not even talking about this four years ago," Slaga said.

Board Member Richard Adler said, "We really have come far in terms of student achievement and it all comes down to having people in place to implement programs. We are really making strides and I am not afraid to say we still need to improve."

Slaga said administrators fought to have a new elementary math program adopted, and the test scores reflect the benefit of that program.

Coyote Springs Elementary School Principal Dr. Susan Fahrni said, "One breakthrough this year was an elementary school principals summit. We all brought something to share, something that was working for us."

Adler said, "The same expectations academically have to be applied to discipline at the middle and high schools. It is all about creating a culture. It is about accountability. It is not just about the big pieces-drugs, guns and so forth, it's about all the little things coming together."

The governing board and school principals talked about honors and advance placement courses.

Slaga said the AP classes at Bradshaw Mountain High School are "on target, except for science."

In planning for the future, Human Resources Director Phil Young said school districts are required to have a "five-year technology plan. Ours will expire at the end of 2010. We plan to bring together a committee of stakeholders to create a new plan."

As the district continues to grow and add new buildings, Schmitt said he thinks the district should look at "going green."

Improving communication and parent/community involvement requires improved customer service.