TPS board reviews goals, millage renewal request
At the Monday, Aug. 11, Tecumseh School Board meeting board members discussed three goal areas that were identified at the board’s retreat in July. Prior to the retreat, the board completed a self assessment through Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). At the retreat, a facilitator from MASB walked board members through their results. From that discussion, the three goal areas were identified. They were,• Student Achievement: Investigative and identify educational programs that will address the needs of all students.• Facilities and Maintenance Upkeep: Develop a facilities plan that prioritizes and addresses facility needs and provides a master plan for the future.• Better Marketing of the Positives of the District: Develop a marketing strategy, identify target audience and communicate the plan to stakeholders.Board members will now pair up and write smart goals in the next few weeks. Smart goals are goals that are measurable, specific and attainable. Once the statements are written, the board will discuss them and approve them at a future meeting. The board also approved a resolution on the ballot proposal language for the renewal of the 18-mill non-homestead operating millage. The renewal is for four years, and will be on the November 4 ballot.“By putting it on this ballot with the regular school election, there is no additional cost to the school,” said Supt. Kelly Coffin. The law requires the school to periodically renew the operating millage in order for Michigan schools to receive full per-pupil state funding. The board also accepted a $6,300 gift from the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation for the Tecumseh High School band and orchestra. The gift will go towards bibs for the marching band, three cello outfits, two bass outfits for the orchestra and 24 concert jackets. The final item the board discussed was which tool to use to evaluate the superintendent next year. This year, the board used MASB; however, Michigan legislature is passing law in September that does not include MASB as an approved evaluation tool. School boards will have three tools to choose from for next year. Tecumseh School Board chose School ADvance, which is endorsed by MASB. The new law will require board members to receive training on how to properly evaluate the superintendent, which Tecumseh will be doing in partnership with three other school districts to save cost. The training will be held in Tecumseh. “I think it is actually a really good thing because I don’t know how often boards come together from other schools,” said Coffin. The law will also dictate that administrators be taught how to properly evaluate teachers as well. “The stakes for teachers are certainly a lot higher than they have ever been as far as accountability,” said Coffin. “I think it’s only fair that administrators are trained to assess teachers. I know the teachers appreciate it.”Tecumseh Public Schools had already been training administrators to evaluate teachers. The new law just now requires that training. To save cost, the training will be done at a countywide level, but the state is reimbursing the district for the administrator training.