BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Berrien Springs Board of Education is taking a different approach to planning and goals this year. Instead of adopting an action agenda, as they’ve done most years, board members have set five goals for not only this year. but the next three years.
Superintendent Dave Eichberg noted that district administrators and board members identified the goals at the board’s annual June retreat. Since then, he and other administrators have developed more details about the goals in terms of how they’ll work to achieve them and how they’ll report back to the board.
Thursday’s board meeting featured Eichberg’s report on the five goals, four of which are academic and one of which is about student behavior. “This is the first year the administration and board sat down together and came up with goals,” he said. “Before this, we came up with the goals and the board rubber-stamped them.”
The four academic goals are to have students reach 62 percent proficiency on state reading assessment tests over the next three years, 52 percent proficiency on state math assessment tests, and to score in the top 25 percent of Berrien County school districts on state science and social studies assessment tests.
Eichberg said he will meet monthly with district staff to analyze student academic data, while principals and teachers will also meet monthly to conduct similar analysis. Teachers will also review students’ data monthly. He said a “Data Dialogue” template has been developed to help everyone analyze the data collected.
Progress reports will be given to board members on a quarterly basis, in December, March and June each year. He said the district will establish baseline benchmarks in each academic area and then work to get a third of the way to the goals each year.
Similar monitoring and reporting will be done when it comes to the student behavior goal. Eichberg said the student behavior goal is to have the number of repeat offenders with three or more discipline referrals to be less than 10 percent by the end of the 2019-20 school year. The level is now between 11 and 15 percent.
A subsidiary student behavior goal is to have 80 percent of students, staff and parents rate the district’s schools to be safe and to be satisfied or highly satisfied with district discipline efforts.
Thursday’s meeting also featured an update on the district’s facility projects. Consultant Tony Leininger said the Sylvester Stadium work is on schedule, with demolition done and the team building concrete foundation footings complete, along with subgrade earthwork. He said everything is on schedule to be finished by Aug. 1, 2020.
Leininger also gave a progress report on the $19 million indoor athletic center and performing arts center. He said the schematic design work is now done and the process is moving forward.
He said he’d be back before the board in October with more design development. Construction documents should be done in January with bids going out in February. Construction could start in either March or June next year with all the work done in either November 2021 or February 2022, depending on when construction starts.