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Board enlists consultant for improvement plan
Richland School District
Board enlists consultant for improvement plan

The Richland School District Board of Education agreed to utilize a consulting business to examine the school culture in the district and work to improve the social and emotional well-being for students. 

The board voted, 6-0, to use the services of Greg Zimmerman Speaking and Consulting and Paul Gasser Associates at the recommendation of District Administrator Jarred Burke.

Burke noted that over the past 2 1/2 years, “we have not been in normal operational mode”. He cited Covid as well as the abrupt move from the district’s five-building to three-building model. He said while administration has had conversations with staff about what has gone well and what the focus needs to be, the district “should think about bringing in consultants to help us in formulating an action plan.” 

He said, “In theory, this plan would help us, post Covid and restructuring to improve operations.”

Speaking to the board, Greg Zimmerman, who has 37 years of  experience in educational instruction and leadership, proposed interviewing teachers and staff to get information, analyzing the data, make recommendations and initiate an action plan prior to the start of 2022-23 school year. He said he was interested in contacting parents of students who open-enrolled out of the district. 

In other action during a 65 minute open session, Stephanie Moore, the district’s pupil services principal, reported significant success through the AGR (achievement gap reduction) program. She pointed especially to reading and math scores of low income students that have made dramatic progress during the year. She noted the efforts  of the effect of face-to-face instruction as well as the collaborative  efforts of teachers. 

Board member Neil Huntamer noted the improvement was not only seen in disadvantaged students. 

Moore reponded, “The teachers look at all of students without knowing who is disadvantaged.”

The board voted, 5-1, in favor of President Paul Corcoran’s plan to change the Budget and Finance Committee into a Committee of the Whole required the waiver of Policy 111. Corcoran said that it was one area where every board member needs to know.