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School Board expected to implement new administrative structure

WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board is expected to act Monday to implement a new administrative structure.

Under the state's new accountability system, the district's two elementary schools were listed among the lowest-performing schools in the state on measures of student growth, student achievement or the achievement gap.

In response, Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard proposed the new structure, and it was first presented to the board at a special meeting last month.

Action to approve positions in the new structure is on the agenda for the regular meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth Street S.W.

The board will be asked to approve moving Cheryl Nash from the position of Director of Curriculum/Staff Development/Assessment into the role of Director of Teaching and Learning for the district.

The advance agenda information packet says that in this new role she would facilitate, direct, and guide principals relative to improvement of teaching and learning. Nash would have responsibility for the educational improvement in the district.

A second part of this new structure is action to hire a full-time Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator. The information packet says this person would be responsible for all testing, analysis of data, and -- along with the Director of Teaching and Learning -- assist in the development and analysis of building level data, plans and goals.

After consultation with principals, the district has decided not to hire an Instructional Technologist position that had been advertised and instead hire the new position of Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator.

Kjergaard also has proposed adding an additional full-time assistant principal who would split time between the two elementary buildings to assist in teacher evaluation. The board on Monday will be asked to approve that position as well.

In other business Monday, a public hearing will be conducted at 4:30 p.m. on the adoption of a policy for student fees associated with iPad use. The district plans to provide Apple iPad tablet computers for all juniors and seniors next fall.

The board will have the second reading of the policy and action is expected. The administration has received no comments and will recommend approval, according to information in the advance agenda packet. The policy sets a rental fee of $50 per student per year.

The policy and the iPad handbook together outline appropriate usage, responsibility for damages, maintenance, etc. The handbook also is expected to be approved Monday.

The board will listen to public comments related to items on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. Those who want to comment on issues that are not on Monday's agenda may do so at the end of the meeting.

Board meetings are shown live on Willmar local cable access channel 18 and are shown later on channel 19.

-- Susan Lunneborg