Kennewick School Board Report for May 25

Kennewick School Board Meeting      May 25, 2011      5:30 PM

All board members were present.


• The OSPI Washington Achievement Award was presented to the principals of Lincoln (Doug Campbell), Ridge View (Lori Butler), Canyon View (Mark Stephens) and Washington (Rob Phillips) elementary schools. These schools were recognized for overall excellence and closing the achievement gap.

• Superintendent Dave Bond reported on the graduates of Phoenix school from a letter written by the school’s advisors. See details below.

• Bond read a letter from the Paramount Duty Coalition detailing the impacts of the state budget on public education. KSD is a member of the coalition. See the letter at this link:

• Board member Kathy White noted the National School Boards Association (NSBA) is requesting the Department of Education provide regulatory relief from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which, according to Secretary Arne Duncan, is “broken”. Over 80% of U.S. schools could fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2011/12. See details at this link:   unneeded-regulations/

• Bond led a board discussion of the proposed KSD Strategic Plan North Star Goals. The purpose was to reconsider each goal using information collected from the community in April. See details below.

• Chuck Lybeck presented the district-wide Social Studies adoption for grades 9 to 12. See details below.


Strategic Plan North Star Goals

Each goal was reviewed in order and a decision was made to affirm, modify or drop the goal. Modified goals will be reported when the new wording is available.

1. Ninety percent of KSD students report that they feel safe at school on an annual KSD student safety survey.
This goal was affirmed unanimously. Bond will prepare a recommendation for assessment.

2. The KSD incurs 40 or fewer reportable incidents annually and 45 or fewer accepted claims annually.
 This goal will be modified and was adopted on a 3 to 2 vote.

3. Eighty percent of entering kindergarteners score 30 points or more of the Kennewick School District’s Kindergarten Readiness test.                               This goal will be modified and was adopted on a 3 to 2 vote.

4. Ninety percent of third graders achieve a score of 200 (representing the 50th percentile) on the NWEA reading test in the spring of each school year.
This goal will be modified and was adopted on a 3 to 2 vote.

5. The KSD is in the 75th percentile of all schools in achieving annual growth.
Discussion was about applying this goal to reading and math at all grade levels or just certain grades. Bond has no confidence in state standardized tests so would recommend using MAP scores to measure progress.
This goal will be modified to change schools to districts and was adopted on a 4 to 1 vote.

6. Seventy-five percent of students who are behind are caught up to state standard within three years.
Without confidence in the state standard it was decided to use MAP scores for reading and math.
This goal will be modified and was adopted unanimously.

7. Seventy-five percent of eighth graders take math at the level of Algebra 1-2 or higher and earn a grade of C or better.
With little public support for this goal, Wendy London argued this is not the time to adopt it. Dawn Adams suggested revising early grades math to transition to 8th grade Algebra. Bond stated that math teachers favor accelerating middle school math to phase in 8th grade Algebra.
This goal will be modified and was adopted on a 4 to 1 vote.

8. The Kennewick School District will provide broad opportunities to its students in rich co-curricular programs and both competitive and non-competitive extra-curricular programs.
Bond stated that he believes Kennewick already exceeds this goal. London expressed concern that the North Star goals support reading, math and co/extra-curricular programs but say nothing about social studies, world languages, PE, health, exploratory and elective classes.
This goal will be modified and was adopted on a 4 to 1 vote.

9. The Kennewick School District’s extended graduation rate is at least 90%.
This goal was affirmed unanimously.

10. Eighty-five percent of students state that they are well-prepared for their declared post-secondary education, training, and work objectives.
An issue is how to measure this goal. The board deferred action on this goal to their June 11 workshop for reconsideration and refinement.

11. The KSD’s unreserved, undesignated fund balance is at least 5% of total budget.
Meeting this goal will require taking $1.46 million from current operations. With cuts to education in the new state budget, KSD will be removing funds from this account to cover costs. Business Manager, Vic Roberts was credited with improving KSD’s reserve from 0.49% in 2006 to 4.09% now.
This goal was affirmed on a 3 to 2 vote.

Board discussion about these goals consumed most of the business agenda. Among points made was that goals not directly affecting curriculum and instruction should not be North Star goals.

Having observed this process since last August I have some thoughts about developing KSD goals which I will propose in an article soon.

For details about the goals see:


Social Studies Adoption

Texts adopted include:

Out of Many: A History of the American People – district-wide for grades 10-12 AP U.S. History classes

Think Sociology – district-wide for grades 11-12 Social Science classes

Think Psychology – district-wide for grades 11-12 Social Science classes

World History, The Modern Era – district-wide in grade 9 World Studies classes

World Geography, Building a Global Perspective – district-wide in grade 9 World Studies classes

Choices for the 21st Century Education Program – district-wide in grades 9-12 Government/CWP classes

The World Today – district-wide in grades 9-12 Government/CWP classes

Current Issues in American Democracy – district-wide in grades 9-12 Government/CWP classes

20th Century World – district-wide in grade 12 IB History classes

Oxford Revision Guide Series – District-wide in grade 12 IB History classes

Theory of Knowledge – district-wide in grades 11-12 IB History classes

IB History of the Americas – district-wide in grades 11-12 IB History classes

Modern World History – Patterns of Interaction – district-wide in grade 9 ELL classes


Phoenix School Graduates

Dear Senior Project Evaluators:

Thank you very much for taking your valuable time to help our seniors reach their graduation goals! We really appreciated your support as well as the kind and helpful comments you shared with our seniors. We were overwhelmed by your generous offers for support at the conclusion of each session.

We were reviewing some of the statistics regarding challenges these young people have overcome on their path toward graduation, and we want to share a little snap shot of those challenges with you. Of the nineteen seniors who presented last Wednesday, six chose to stay past their senior year to finish their graduation requirements. This shows a personal dedication to earning a diploma. Two receive special education services. Two speak English as a second language. Five have spent part or most of their high school years living without either parent, meaning they were in foster care, homeless, or emancipated. Only four reside with a two-parent family. We looked up during one session and realized that, although there were students, staff, and district representatives there for support in the audience, only one out of five of our seniors’ parents were there. Thirteen of our seniors would be considered highly likely to have dropped out of high school, but not one of them did.

Five of our seniors are the first in their family to graduate from high school. Six have been accepted to college or are actively engaged in the enrollment process. Two have been awarded scholarships. The vast majority plan to attend college or a trade school in the near future. Seven are already in the job force. All of them have an understanding that they have a responsibility to care and give back to their communities, and everyone has a Phoenix community that will continue to be here to mentor them through the next years of their life. After last Wednesday, our students have been shown that they also have the whole Tri Cities behind them, with community leaders in public service, business, and education, there to support and encourage them. The support we give these kids makes a difference!

Thank you again for caring about our seniors.


Jill Mulhausen,       Sarah E. H. Ard,       Pat Yecha,
Lead Advisor          Advisor                      Advisor