New Berlin - As the school year opens, New Berlin School District administrators and teachers are looking forward to getting a lot done, just like the students, said Superintendent Joe Garza.
Garza has a list of eight objectives that starts with developing a more precise way of evaluating teachers and administrators. Similarly, another goal is to develop a balanced student assessment system, he said.
The math curriculum will be realigned to keep the schools' edge in that area, he said, and reading and writing will get an extra boost through additional professional development for teachers this year.
Also, the district's report card for elementary schools will be updated based on research and best practices, Garza said.
Likewise, the district will update its three-year district technology plan. In addition, a long-range financial plan for both the school buildings and the district's operating budget is another objective, Garza said.
The district already has the outline of a facilities plan, thanks to a recent study done to gather information for closing Glen Park Elementary School, he said.
"Now we'll add more data to drive decision-making," Garza said.
Another goal this school year is better communication across the board, including staff, students, parents and the community, he said. To help make that happen, the district hired communications specialist Melinda Mueller through the state's CESA educational organization. Mueller had been communications specialist with the Elmbrook School District.
Despite the initiatives, Garza said the same stewardship of tax money that enabled the schools to save taxpayers almost $33 million since 2003 will continue. Huge savings have come because the district built Ronald Reagan Elementary School and massively renovated New Berlin West Middle/High School without borrowing money, he said. Funding is coming from the operating budget.
- Jane Ford-Stewart
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