School board to discuss annual curriculum report

Published 6:44 pm Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Austin Public Schools Board will get an update on classroom learning Monday.

Board members will hear the annual report on curriculum, instruction and student achievement from John Alberts, educational services director. The report will go over specific district goals laid out on its strategic roadmap, which will include testing goals and initiative implementation. Last year, the district implemented new English standards based on the Common Core curriculum, which federal officials have mandated for all states over the next several years. In addition, Austin schools received the first true Multiple Measurement Ratings and Focus Ratings based on student Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. The MMR and FR replace Adequate Yearly Progress scores mandated under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

In addition, board members will review the 2012-2014 principal contract proposal. Principals will get a 2 percent raise this school year and a 1 percent raise next year. In addition, dental insurance policy will be moved to the $2,000 max to be in-line with the rest of the district’s health insurance policy. District officials raised the insurance funding for its self-insured policy to the maximum amount allowed earlier this year, in order to better plan future overall budgets as insurance funds ran deficits over the past several years. Overall, Austin principals will see a 5.5 percent total package increase over this school year and about a 2.7 percent total package increase next year under the proposed contract.

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Jean McDermott, I.J. Holton School Principal, will also update the board on progress for the new fifth- and sixth-grade intermediate building.

Austin High School could soon have an official Fellowship of Christian Athletes club, as Activities Director Lisa Quednow-Bickler will present the proposal to board members as well.

Board members will also approve renaming the Ellis Middle School swimming pool after former swimming coach Bud Higgins.