Kindergarten students' progress will be documented more naturally at Goshen Schools

Goshen Schools made some changes to student assessments after considering feedback from teachers and parents. 

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 9:09 p.m.

Goshen Community Schools’ board addressed several issues at a meeting Monday, July 28, including changes to student assessments, the possibility of the school resource officer getting a police dog and a start date for referendum-related construction.

Fewer standards, shorter tests for students in primary grades

Based on teacher feedback, the district has changed some of the ways students’ progress will be measured.

There will be shorter assessments for students in primary grades, fewer standards covered in each three-week window and a more natural approach to documenting the progress of kindergarten students. 

Kindergarten teachers already collect data about student progress as they interact with them in the classroom, said Tamra Ummel, assistant superintendent. 

Because of that, an additional formal assessment that collects the same information isn't really necessary, she added. 

Although the district reviews curriculum each summer, this year it specifically addressed some issues brought up by a group of Goshen parents in June

Emily Moore and several other parents visited a Goshen school board meeting in June and read a letter explaining their concerns with a “one-size-fits-all” curriculum, teachers’ lack of freedom to use their professional judgement, and inadequate communication with parents.

The district has been working with that parent group and Assistant Superintendent Alan Metcalfe said Monday he feels the parents’ concerns were addressed.

He added the district hopes to put together a district curriculum committee, where teachers would meet quarterly to discuss potential issues. 

School resource officer getting K-9

Goshen High School’s school resource officer will likely get a police dog to assist with the duty of protecting the school, Superintendent Diane Woodworth reported. 

The idea was first discussed five or six years ago and the school resource officer, Mike Johnson, has secured a grant to pay for the dog.

The K-9 would be partially funded by grant money, with additional donations included. 

Construction starting next week

Ancon Construction will likely break ground on the referendum-related construction at both the middle school and the high school on Aug. 4 according to Superintendent Diane Woodworth. 

This project, paid for by a $17 million referendum in November 2013, includes a new pool, more space for music programs and cafeteria areas and other upgrades for the two buildings. 

Ancon was chosen to do the work in the beginning of June when the Goshen company out-scored two Fort-Wayne based companies during the selection process. 

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks

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