*Editor's Note — Information provided by the Renton School District:
More than 200 community members, district teachers and staff, local and state elected officials, and others came together recently to update the district’s three-year strategic plan. The large stakeholder’s meeting, which filled the cafeteria at McKnight Middle School, was similar to one held in 2009 and was designed to gather public input in establishing the district’s direction for the coming three years.
Those in attendance were presented information on student progress based on prior goals, and then they provided substantive input on the revision of district goals and strategies related to increasing student achievement.
Along with retaining two of the 2009 goals—improving student achievement in pre-school through 12th grade, and ensuring that all students, regardless of race and economics, have access to quality instruction—stakeholders discussed the district’s newly proposed goals: ensuring that students graduate with the necessary skills and appropriate plans to continue on to post-secondary options (including being prepared to successfully enter college, the workforce, the military, etc.), and setting goals for support services such as business operations and human resources to be more directed toward support of student achievement in classrooms.
MEETING GOALS—ACCOMPLISHMENTS OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS:
The strategic plan created by the stakeholder’s group in 2009 helped the district address goals for continued improvement of student achievement. The district met many of those goals and, in most cases, exceeded state and national standards:
- Nearly 98% of district middle school students taking algebra met or exceeded state standards
- The number of high school students enrolled in higher-level Advanced Placement classes increased by
- nearly 71%
- The district’s graduation rate rose to 94%
- Significant growth in reading performance occurred, primarily in kindergarten through 3rd grade
- Double-digit gains were noted at all grade levels on state mathematics and science tests
- The achievement gap narrowed with improvements on all state tests, including performance in reading, writing, math, science by elementary, middle and high school students identified by the state in specific income and ethnicity categories.
The stakeholder meeting was designed to engage the greater community in strategic education planning to increased student achievement. It is part of a larger district engagement strategy aimed at involving business and elected leaders, community members and civic organizations in meaningful partnerships. Building and sustaining these positive community partnerships, coupled with the community’s overwhelming vote of confidence in approving school funding measures and school building improvement efforts, makes Renton a unique and engaging place to live, learn, work and play. The work of the stakeholder’s group hones those efforts and provides opportunities to incorporate greater voice and direction from community members to assist the district in crafting goals and expectations for the next three years.
RENTON SCHOOL DISTRICT THREE-YEAR GOALS:
- Pre-school/K-12 Achievement: Each student will meet or exceed state and district standards
- College and Career Ready: Each student will graduate with the necessary skills and an appropriate plan to continue to post-secondary options
- Equity and Access: Each student will be valued, connected and achieving— no barriers
- Business Operations will support the educational process, increase student achievement and provide value through efficient and effective allocation of operational resources
- Human Resources will use exemplary practices to recruit, train and retain quality staff for schools and departments across the district and will use interest-based bargaining strategies with all bargaining groups to achieve a workforce prepared to and engaged in optimizing student achievement