Staff reflects on current progress and setting future goals
WOODLAND — In preparation for the new school year, Woodland Public Schools faculty and staff gathered for an annual all-staff breakfast and collaborative meeting on Sept. 10, where they reviewed their progress during the prior school year and reinvigorated their focus for continuous improvement in student learning across the entire district in the future.
The administrative team greeted new and returning staff members as they entered the Woodland High School gym for the annual breakfast meeting. The breakfast was sponsored by Aflac, the supplemental insurance company. Superintendent Michael Green opened the event by having each of the school administrators introduce their new faculty and staff members:
- Woodland High School Principal John Shoup introduced three new teachers and a new counselor.
- Woodland Middle School Principal James Johnston introduced four new teachers.
- Woodland Intermediate School added a new principal, Denise Principal, as well as nine new teachers.
- Woodland Primary School Principal Ingrid Colvard introduced six new staff members.
- Superintendent Green introduced Malinda Huddleston, current instructional coach, who will also be taking on duties as Yale Elementary’s principal this year.
- Jake Hall, Executive Director of Learning Supports and Alternatives, introduced four new staff members who will be working for the district in his department.
Superintendent Green discussed the goals adopted by the school board for student learning in Woodland at the start of the 2017-18 school year and the progress made by the entire staff.
“My purpose here is to celebrate the incredible road we’ve traveled over the past year,” he said. “By 2021, we want 85 percent of our students graduating on-time from both Woodland High School and TEAM, along with a 90 percent-plus graduation rate for our 5-year cohorts.”
Green spotlighted the substantial improvements made to student attendance thanks to the efforts of Stacy Mouat, the district’s truancy specialist. “Our goal is to have all students attending class at least 90 percent of the time,” he said. “In 2017-18, we almost achieved that goal with an attendance rate of nearly 89 percent.”
In addition to graduation rate and attendance, Green reviewed the district’s efforts for improvement in students successfully passing state assessments. “By 2022, we want 80 percent of our students meeting the requirements for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics,” he said. “Last year, every single grade level saw improvement over the prior year in ELA and only one didn’t see a year-over-year improvement in math.”
Studies show that students who fail a course during their freshman year have a higher likelihood of dropping out before graduation. Starting with the last school year, the teachers and staff at Woodland High School made interventions at the freshman level a high priority. “During the 2017-18 school year, overall course failure has been reduced by nearly 10 percent when compared to prior years,” said Green.
The leadership team plans to continue focusing on both past and present goals to continue the district’s progress. “Each and every child should have access to an excellent education regardless of which grade or school they attend and regardless of which teacher they learn from,” said Green. “By maintaining our dedication and perseverance, all of our students will receive equal preparation during their academic career so they can explore all their interests by the time they enter high school and plan for their futures.”
Superintendent Green closed the presentation by sharing inspirational insights about the power of persistence as well as the importance of how dedication to goals results in continuous improvement to achieving those goals, “The skill and dedication each of you brings to the classroom brings me great pride — I wish each and every one of you a truly successful school year.”
Information courtesy of Woodland Public Schools.