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Meeting Recaps

July 8, 2024, Board of Education Recap

Marcie Pfeifer-Soderbloom
July 12, 2024

Superintendent’s Report

2024-25 Academic Standards

Director of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation Karyn Stocks Glover presented the 2024-25 academic standards to the Board of Education (BOE). Under section 120.12 of the Wisconsin State Statutes, the Verona Area School District (VASD) must notify parents and guardians of the academic standards used to guide instruction in VASD. VASD aligns all core subject areas with the Wisconsin Standards. The standards inform all curriculum resource adoptions, most recently Language Arts and Social Studies. High school courses use various curriculum resources aligned to state standards. Specifically, the standards and supporting curricular resources are as follows:

  • Wisconsin Standards for Language Arts (K-8 Savvas)

  • Wisconsin Standards for Mathematics (K-5 Bridges Mathematics, 6-11 Illustrative Mathematics)

  • Wisconsin Standards for Science (K-5 Mystery Science, 6-8 Amplify Science)

  • Wisconsin Social Studies Standards (K-5 TCM Social Studies,  6-9 Cengage National) Geographic

  • Essential Elements


Board of Education Action

Approval of 24-25 Academic Standards

Relevant Policy: Operational Expectation (OE) 11: Instructional Program

Member White motioned to approve the 24-25 Academic Standards. Member Medina seconded. The motion carried 5-0.

Approval of OE 3: Treatment of Community Stakeholders Monitoring Report

Relevant Policy: Operational Expectations (OE) 3: Treatment of Community Stakeholders

OE 3: Treatment of Community Stakeholders holds that the Superintendent shall maintain an organizational culture that treats parents and members of the community with respect, dignity, and courtesy. The VASD BOE values ethical leadership that prioritizes professional and personal behavior that is responsive and accommodating to stakeholders while upholding the beliefs and mission of VASD. The BOE expects the Superintendent to build and maintain positive relationships with the community to generate community support and trust in our schools.

Superintendent Dr. Tremayne Clardy provided evidence of compliance with indicators 3.1.1, 3.2.1, 3.3.1, and 3.3.2.. Dr. Clardy highlighted that indicator 3.2.2, as written, is unattainable and non-measurable and cannot truly be monitored with complete accuracy as written. He requested and was granted permission to rewrite the indicator to better align with evidence that BOE seeks to ensure compliance. He will present a new indicator specific to OE 3 to the BOE for consideration at a future meeting.

Member Hanes motioned to approve the Operational Expectations Monitoring Report as presented. Member Porco seconded. The motion carried 5-0.

Approval of OE 10: Learning Environment/Student Behavior Monitoring Report

Relevant Policy: Operational Expectation (OE) 10: Learning Environment/Student Behavior

OE 10: Learning Environment/Student Behavior holds that the Superintendent shall establish and maintain a learning environment that is safe, respectful, and conducive to effective learning and high student achievement. The VASD BOE values high standards related to providing a safe and positive climate that is student-centered where all students and staff feel welcomed and have a strong sense of belonging and students and staff are cared for and supported to do their best work. The BOE expects the Superintendent to ensure that all learning environments within the school district are safe by establishing clear expectations for student behavior and school climates that protect students’ emotional and physical well-being and address through appropriate administrative behaviors that disrupt the teaching, learning or operational processes of a school or the school district. The Progressive Response Model and its measures to address inappropriate behavior are both corrective and supportive. It is a resource to help staff, students, and families turn mistakes into authentic learning experiences by using age-appropriate interventions, supports, and responses to address inappropriate student behavior.

Executive Director of Student Services Dr. Angela Hawkins provided evidence of compliance with indicators 10.1.1, 10.1.2, 10.1.3, 10.1.4, 10.1.5, 10.1.6, 10.2.1, 10.2.2, 10.3.1, 10.4.1, 10.4.2, 10.4.3, 10.5.1, 10.5.2, 10.6.1, 10.6.2, and 10.6.3. Dr. Hawkins highlighted that the evidence for indicator 3.2.2 did not demonstrate compliance. That is, student discipline records maintained by each school did not verify that discipline referrals and suspensions were generally proportionate for all student groups. Black students were overrepresented in both measures, with Black students experiencing 42% of the discipline referrals and 32% of the suspensions, although they comprise only 7% of the student population. Multi-racial students, students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals, and students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)  were also overrepresented in discipline referrals and suspensions.

Member Hanes referred to research demonstrating that disproportionality decreases when students have representative educators. He encouraged VASD to continue prioritizing retaining and recruiting diverse staff. Member White stated that this information is alarming. Furthermore, he wondered what happens between when a student enters the school door and when adults start making discipline referrals and how that impacts the student. He concurred that recruiting and retaining diverse staff is critical and correlates with decreased disproportionality. He suggested that VASD complete an equity audit to analyze VASD’s policies, practices, and outcomes to identify areas where disparities exist and develop strategies to address them. Member Murphy also wondered about the fuller picture and the story within the data. She also questioned if students have the same discipline referrals over and over or if the behaviors vary.

Member Porco would like to see more data on, for example, the number of students who have one discipline referral, 2-5 discipline referrals, 6-10 discipline referrals, etc. He desires data on the varying subsets of students, such as students who match more than one of the characteristics of the groups associated with disproportionality. Member Hanes also sees value in shifting our data lens from per referral to per student. He would also be interested in knowing the percentage of discipline referrals that result in suspensions.

Dr. Clardy and Dr. Hawkins committed to providing additional data for the BOE that is responsive to tonight’s conversation.

Dr. Hawkins shared the following leadership moves planned to address disproportionality in discipline referrals and suspensions:

  • In alignment with the Teaching and Learning Framework, ensure rigorous, grade-level, and standards-aligned instruction every day in every classroom.

  • The Restorative Practices Coordinator position, filled in 23-24, is dedicated to resolving conflicts and addressing disciplinary issues in a way that fosters understanding and healing. The role and the work of staff in our district will support and ensure that we are incorporating Restorative Practices with fidelity in our classrooms and school buildings.

  • Strengthening School-Based Multi-Level Systems of Support (MLSS): We recognized the critical need for a proactive, systematic approach to address our students' diverse academic and behavioral needs. In response, each school has developed a Multi-Level Systems of Support (MLSS) team that serves as the entry point for monitoring student progress and uses grade-level Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to inform and adjust instructional strategies. 

  • Equity Framework acknowledges that inequities exist, and VASD is committed to disrupting inequities.

Member Porco motioned to approve the Operational Expectations Monitoring Report as presented. Member Hanes seconded. The motion carried 5-0.


BOE Updates

BOE OE 8 Updates

Relevant Policy: Operational Expectation (OE) 8: Communicating with and Support for the Board

The deadline to submit applications for the recently vacated Portion 2, City of Fitchburg BOE seat was July 8, 2024. No applications were submitted. The BOE will share an update at the July 22, 2024, meeting about continuing to seek applicants.  

General Board Updates
Cooperative Educational Services Area (CESA) #2

Member Porco reported that a BOE member from a neighboring district will now serve on the CESA#2 Board. Member Porco will continue in his role as a delegate.

Greater Dane County School District Governance Consortium

Member Porco, Member Murphy, and Dr. Clardy attended the May Greater Dane County School District Governance Consortium. They shared the draft mission statement with the BOE. At the next meeting, the BOE will vote regarding membership in the Greater Dane County School District Consortium. Dr. Clardy thanked Member Murphy and Member Porco for their leadership in working to formalize the Greater Dane County School District Consortium to allow districts to partner and combine efforts for impact in the state of Wisconsin.

Convocation 

BOE members received an invitation to the VASD 2024-25 Convocation.

Workshop 

The BOE is working on scheduling a workshop.


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