Board reviews benefits of Marzano
by Mary Le Arneal
The North Bend Central Board of Education held its monthly meeting March 13 at the high school.
Terri Jelinek, in her position as School Improvement Leader for the district, spoke to the board about what Marzano has done for NBC. Jelinek went through a power point presentation showing the board what all has been accomplished.
In Year 1 (2015-2016) the teachers learned about student engagement in August, learning goals in January, and in March they started interacting with their new knowledge. They considered Year 1 their exploring phase with the teachers trying new instructional strategies.
“Teachers were trying new things,” Jelinek said. “It’s exciting for the kids to have something new going on in the classroom, but it was exciting for the teachers too. We have more students up and moving around the room, a lot more than we used to have, and research shows that’s a good thing. They are paying attention more, more mindful questioning and teachers having conversations with students because of that questioning.”
In Year 2, this school year, the teachers started the year off with a retreat at Camp Moses Merrill to meet with their Marzano trainer, Mitzi Hoback. They started out learning rules and procedures, relationships and high expectations. In September each building designed its own personal framework, setting their strategies and assessing how they are implementing them. The principals observed the teachers for instructional strategies that they were using, as well as self and peer evaluation.
Superintendent Dan Endorf said the consistency from classroom to classroom is now there in ways not seen before.
“Those are very healthy, positive dialogs that you don’t get the opportunity to see,” Endorf said. “Marzano is really coming into play. It’s forcing our teachers to talk about what is happening in their classrooms in a way they never did before. That is powerful.”
Endorf gave credit to Jelinek and principals Brenda Petersen and Tessie Beaver for leading the way.
“The power of (Jelinek’s) position allows (the principals) to lead their buildings,” Endorf said. “Terri is getting all that stuff in the background that principals were doing. It has been good.”
Endorf also gave credit to having a Marzano trainer come to the school to train all the staff at once.
“At least now we are all going in the same direction,” Endorf said.
Jelinek also talked about the ACT Prep. Nebraska is administering the ACT test to all high school juniors as an evaluation tool. The John Baylor ACT Prep will be taught to all juniors in March and April in English and math classes. A practice test will be given April 5 and the actual test on April 19.
“We want them to have the experience of what a three-hour test is like,” Jelinek said about the practice test.
Corey Sunberg from Coach Masters, Inc., Kearney, spoke to the board about a coach bus for school use. After consideration and many questions the board thanked Sunberg for his input, saying they will stick with conventional school buses.
Maintenance head Kevin Ferguson presented the board the status of the present vehicle fleet. There are three busses that the district uses as spares that Ferguson would like to get rid of and replace with a more reliable bus, or ideally two busses. The board gave approval to seek bids on busses to consider at the next meeting. Sunberg had said the earlier the bus is ordered, he suggested January, the sooner the district would receive the bus. In 2015 a bus was ordered in May, but not received until November 2015, with the district having to rent a bus to start the school year.
Jennifer Callahan spoke to the board about allowing preschool students to ride the bus. Ferguson checked with the Department of Education and found out that car seats would not be required for the 4-5 year olds. School board member Francis Emanuel suggested that the school bus drivers and preschool parents be consulted. Superintendent Dan Endorf said they need to have 10 preschoolers wanting to use the bus on the morning or afternoon routes in order to open up the bus to preschoolers. Endorf will talk to bus drivers.
The board looked at the SkillsUSA information Roy Wright researched. SkillsUSA is an organization for career and technical students. Board member Jeff Bauer questioned adding another organization when many students are already stretched pretty thin. Board member Bob Feurer gave an example of students who don’t do other activities and would benefit with this organization. The board approved SkillsUSA.
The next board meeting will be April 10 at 7:30 p.m.
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