presents 03 Education Plan
At their Committee of the Whole meeting on April 24, members of the Yellow
Springs Board of Education reviewed the Yellow Springs schools 20032004
Education Plan, which includes the districts strategic goals and
budget for next school year.
While the education plan originally began as a budget planning document,
it has taken on more significance in recent years, said Superintendent
It has become more of the blueprint for the year, the primary planning
document for the district, he said. We believe that whats
in the plan gets done.
The board is expected to approve the plan at its next meeting, May 8.
The school systems vision, according to the plan, is that every
student will become a socially responsible, self-directed, lifelong learner.
Strategic goals include to develop and implement academic, co-curricular
and extracurricular activities that promote student caring for self and
others; to provide and promote opportunities for students to initiate
and participate in programs and activities that enhance the Yellow Springs
community; to develop, implement and encourage student experiences through
the implementation of best practice including authentic learning, goal
setting and demonstration of knowledge.
The plan also lists as goals to provide and promote opportunities
for students to become directly involved in structuring their own learning
experiences; to identify and promote the acquisition of skills and knowledge
needed to achieve personal goals and to benefit humankind and the natural
world; and to encourage an appreciation for all the dimensions of human
learning, including science, the humanities, fine arts and health.
The plans financial and budget overview states that, in terms of
income, the district anticipates that property tax revenues will decrease
an estimated $107,885 due to the closing of Vernay Laboratories
local manufacturing plants. State funding, at $1.07 million, is similar
to the past two years, and open enrollment income is estimated to generate
$436,320 for the district.
In terms of expenses, the school district will include negotiated 4 percent
step salary increases with both the teachers and support staff unions,
plus a 15 percent increase in dental and health insurance costs. Purchased
services costs are up less than 2 percent, according to the plan, and
utilities have increased 20 percent for the new construction projects
at Mills Lawn, McKinney and YSHS. A newly negotiated contract with IKON
for copiers netted a $14,000 savings.
Program and budget changes for the upcoming year at Mills Lawn include
the reduction of one kindergarten section, an additional $2,000 for professional
development and $5,000 for fifth-grade textbooks.
At the middle and high school level, budget changes include a reduction
of a full-time study hall aide for $16,000 and additional funding of $3,000
for North Central initiatives.
Districtwide, budget changes will include a savings of $10,800 with the
reduction of a maintenance position from 12 to 8 months, plus reductions
in scheduled bus driver hours and the addition of a full-time night custodian
for $17,380. Co-curricular and extracurricular salaries will be increased,
at an approximate total cost of $7,000.
Educational goals at Mills Lawn School include improving student performance
at the fifth-grade level, investigating and selecting new science materials,
improving reading and writing skills of fifth- and sixth- grade students
and selecting a reading program to pilot for the 20042005 school
Next year will be the final year of the schools three-year arts
project, Looking In, Looking Out: Our Place in the World.
This year students have explored the theme of diversity through a variety
of arts experiences, under the direction of a number of artists-in-residence.
In the projects final year, Mills Lawn teachers will disseminate
information about what we learned, said Mills Lawn Principal Christine
Hatton. Were interested in reflecting on the experience and
letting people know how it went.
At the McKinney School and Yellow Springs High School, school officials
plan to focus on North Central Accreditation goals of improving students
academic responsibility and working together to create a positive school
McKinney and YSHS educational goals also include continuing work with
the YSHS Project, a program designed to empower teachers to take
an active, aggressive and assertive role in the governance of the schools,
according to the plan. Also, the schools will assess and review
the structure of the school, particularly the master schedule, including
a possible master schedule revision.
Additional goals include impacting the school climate and culture
with interventions and strategies that will improve the atmosphere of
our school through such strategies as working with The ARIA Group
to include student input in goal setting, incorporating schoolwide thematic
units, rewarding high academic achievement with school letters and considering
altering the disciplinary measures to include community service.
Were trying to think of using more positive reinforcement
rather than detentions, YSHS Principal John Gudgel said of the schools
approach to discipline. Our biggest obstacles are ourselves as educators,
having always done things this way.
The high school will also work toward further improving its graduation
rate, which has improved in recent years, according to Gudgel. The plan
says that the school will continue to use strategies such as correspondence
courses, independent study programs, work study programs, the Greene County
Career Center, The Academy of Greene County and identifying students at
risk at an earlier age.
Its important to me personally, Gudgel said of the graduation
rate. I want to see everyone get a high school diploma.
The graduation standard was the only measure the district did not pass
on the 2002 state proficiency tests. The district received a score of
88.2 percent on the graduation standard, just below the 90 percent pass
Board members expressed support for the administrators goals.
Im impressed with the goals, said Bill Firestone, adding
that he especially appreciated goals aimed at increasing students
academic responsibility, changing the school climate to one which