Goals set for Beaufort County school superintendent's performance

rheaton@islandpacket.comJune 19, 2012 

  • - Unanimously approved changes to the district's policies on Internet and technology use. Board member Earl Campbell was absent.
    - Unanimously approved a $1,000 donation to Hilton Head Island High School from the Children's Relief Fund. The money will be used to purchase supplies for the life-skills classroom.
    - Unanimously approved a $6,500 donation from Pathways in Step to renovate and equip the Whale Branch Middle School greenhouse.
    - Unanimously approved an easement that allows Bluffton to place a sign near M.C. Riley Early Childhood Center. The sign will welcome visitors to Old Town Bluffton.

A few tweaks and changes have been made to some goals used evaluate Beaufort County School District superintendent Valerie Truesdale's performance.

The Board of Education on Tuesday approved a set of goals that will be used to judge her performance in the upcoming school year. The goals were approved on a 10-0-1 vote; board member Earl Campbell was absent, and board chairman Fred Washington Jr. abstained.

Many of the goals are the same as they have been in years past, including ones targeting student performance on standardized tests, end- of-course tests and college entrance exams.

Changes to Truesdale's performance goals include:

  • The district's on-time graduation rate will be measured both by students graduating in four years and in five years.

  • Because three high schools were already graduating more than 80 percent of ninth-graders to 10th grade, the superintendent's ninth-grade success rate goal was tweaked. In Bluffton, Hilton Head Island and Whale Branch Early College high schools -- where the rate is more than 80 percent -- an increase of 5 percent is expected. At Battery Creek and Beaufort High, the percentage must increase by 10 percent per year.

  • Shanklin and Broad River elementary schools were added to a list of schools that aim to boost student growth beyond national averages. Other schools on that list are Whale Branch and St. Helena elementary schools and Whale Branch Middle School.

  • Truesdale will also be evaluated based on minority student achievement and the district's state report card ranking.

    Beginning next year, the district will track data that could lead to the setting of two more performance goals for the superintendent. Tied into the district's career- and college-readiness initiative, the district will gather baseline data on the percentage of high school seniors who meet the S.C. Commission on Higher Education requirements for university admission. The district will also begin to track the number of high school students completing a national career assessment.

    Truesdale said once the first year's data is tracked, performance goals to increase those percentages will likely be set.

    Truesdale's job performance is also evaluated based on several administrative goals that aren't tied to student performance.

    Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.

    Related content: Committee sets course for superintendent's goals for next school; June 4, 2012

    Superintendent on track according to board evaluation; Nov. 1, 2011

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