Kyrene board members discuss new year - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Kyrene board members discuss new year

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Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 4:45 am

Kyrene governing board members met Tuesday night to discuss formalities regarding the summer break and what has been occurring around the school during the first week in session.

Superintendent Dr. David Schauer debriefed the board by congratulating Kyrene for being an A-rated school district by the Arizona Department of Education.

It’s been the second year the Kyrene School District has received an A rating, with this year having 16 schools receiving A ratings and nine schools receiving B ratings.

Schauer also mentioned reports for the first week of the fall session have been positive, with this year being one of the smoothest starts of the school year they’ve seen in many years.

During the school year, Schauer plans on visiting newly appointed teachers in the Kyrene School District to discuss with them on how the school term is going so far, and what types of support they may need in order to continue the success the district is striving towards.

“It’s been a great start so far, and we are looking forward to a wonderful school year,” Schauer said.

Along with congratulating the district, during the meeting Darlene Abel, who teaches social studies at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School, was honored for having one of her students win first place in the essay contest, “The Invest Right Contest.”

“My goal is to help them understand on how the choices they make today will shape their tomorrow,” Abel said. “I never thought I would ever say I love economics, but I really do.”

Lorah Neville, executive director for curriculum and learning services, spoke to members of the governing board on the Summer Learning Program that teachers participated in during the break.

Over the summer there were three different institutes teachers participated in, with one the programs focusing on elementary, called Problem Based Learning.

Through the course of the institutes nearly 120 teachers were trained.

Neville said what was particularly exciting about the Summer Learning Program was that they were able to design the institute to reflect the type of learning they wish to see in the classrooms in Kyrene.

Another item brought up during the meeting was the Principal Evaluation Performance Rating in the district.

Five domains are reviewed in the evaluations, with the major focus being towards their student achievement and continuous improvement of instruction, Assistant Superintendent Gina Taylor said.

According to the Principal Evaluation Final Rating Report to the State, in the Kyrene School District 18 principals received high effective principal ratings, and seven received effective principal ratings.

Lisa Gibson, principal of Waggoner Elementary School, said the principal evaluation has the similar language as the teacher evaluations.

“It’s not like learning a new system. It’s really about learning the common language that’s already in the teacher’s evaluation, and applying it to our own evaluation system,” Gibson said.

The next governing board meeting will be at the Kyrene School District Office, 8700 S. Kyrene Road in Tempe, at 7 p.m. on Aug. 27.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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