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Superintendent's Scoop
A great year behind, a better year ahead
June 27, 2017
By Superintendent Gary Pfleuger
Boundary County School District 101

Being in the proud profession of teaching and learning for 40 years now, I will start with a multiple choice question, “What did I learn this year?” Select one: A) Learning never stops, B) Communication is key, C) Mistakes are educational, D) Respect and trust are earned, or E) All of the above.

Easy enough question even though the answers are sometimes hard to come by!

Overall, we had a wonderful school year and thanks to all the answers listed above, this will continue into 2017-2018 and beyond. As I will always do, let’s base our progress on safe, civil and productive actions.

We have been productive! Let’s look at the academic data: All students, K-12, are given a writing task in the fall, winter and spring. These are scored on a rubric created by our staff. All grades levels showed progress! The written word is king!

District wide, the ISAT proficiency rates have increased, though not as much as I would like to see. We had many teachers pilot the ISAT/SBAC Interim Assessments before the “one that counts.” The students who participated showed superior progress. The interim assessments will be utilized to a greater extent next year. On the CTE Idaho Work Place Readiness Exam, 90% of our students earned a certificate of proficiency.

Can we do better on the Idaho State measures? Yes, of course we can! It is time to raise the behavioral and academic expectations once again!

Together with student progress comes professional development for our staff. At the end of this school year, our science teachers attended a workshop focusing on core academic standards with hands-on practical experience. During the month of August, 50 of our K-12 teachers will attend PEAK Training in Kellogg for a three-day workshop. The focus is on teacher-student relations, best practices and classroom management strategies. This week will hit all three of our goals: safe, civil & productive.

We have also shown productivity in the extra and co-curricular programs. Robotics continues to be competitive at an international level. Our band, choir, drama and visual arts programs are doing just that … making works of ART! Athletically, we were competitive in every area. This year proudly finishing with both softball and baseball in the state championship contest.

In all areas, we have improved our competitive skills and have been acknowledged as positive sportsmen, both on and off the athletic field. This year civility has been displayed by our students and spectators alike. Respect leads the way in true competition; this is Badger Pride!

To help improve communication and fiscal responsibility, I formed a Financial Understanding Committee. This first year was primarily learning the complicated system which oversees public education. Next year we will get into it deeper.

For me, the biggest challenge is what to do about our aging elementary schools. The cost of upkeep for Valley View will require much study. I assure you this will come with openness and community involvement. It is the community who must approve any decision.

Last year, through the sale of Evergreen Elementary School, we were able to make major and much needed improvements throughout the district. Mr. Cal Bateman, our Business Manager, has worked long hours on the budget process. The aim is to provide a clear understanding of our financial status to the Board of Trustees, the BCEA and the community.

I would be remiss at this point, if I did not offer my sincere gratitude for supporting the supplemental levy in March of this past school year. It is only through your support, we can further our school program.

Our challenges will always be great! Next year, we will continue to communicate the strength of the “8 in 6 Program,” an advanced opportunities program which begins in the middle school. At BFHS we will clearly define the track of study best suited for each individual student: college bound, vocational, military or alternative. I will again encourage students to enter teaching as a profession through partnership with the College of Education.
Every student has options!

Enrollment predictions are always a guessing game. At this point, we have tentative numbers which show an increase in enrollment. I think word is getting out about the special opportunities available in the Boundary County School District. If you know of folks with children moving to town, have them contact us at the District Office so we can better prepare.

I thank you for allowing me at least one more year serving the children in Boundary County School District #101.
To close, I would like to thank the best administrative team I have ever had the opportunity and honor to serve with: Kevin Dinning-BFHS, David Miles-BCMS, Nathan Williams-VVES, Robin Merrifield-Naples and Curriculum/Instruction/Assessment Coordinator, Lisa Iverson-Mount Hall and Title One/Migrant Director and, introducing Sara Yoder, as our new Special Education Director.

Expect the best from all of us. Your kids deserve it!
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