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The UnifiEd Student Voice Team's School Board Blog
This work session seemed to stick to the ideas of what a work session should be. School board members went around asking questions, stating their thoughts, and proposing innovative solutions.
This was one of the first times that I can say without a doubt that I believe our school board is focused on improving our school system as one united body. Prior to this it has always seemed that the school board wanted great things for Hamilton County Schools but was frequently occupied with bickering at meetings and not reaching the solutions and common grounds that needed to be reached.
At the beginning of this meeting there were some amazing recognitions. Congratulations to all those who were recognized!
The biggest part of this meeting was the Future Ready 2023 updates. This is typically my favorite part of school board meetings as they display the promising future of growth and improvement within HCDE. Through this presentation I was able to see that the school board has clear cut goals of what they want our school system to be from their outline of 3 expectations of excellence, to their strategic plan, to their Focus Five Performance Targets (see below).
I personally have seen the strategic plan referenced again and again and it makes my heart light up every time. Knowing that the school board has a vision for how they want the school system to be better, not just that they want it to be better, is inspiring to a student because it lets me know how I can contribute to making my school better with matching standards. I hadn't seen the Focus Five Performance Targets before, however, and now that I have seen them, I’m really amazed by them. These targets were created through community and school board input. These targets are essentially the quantifiable, numerical goals for the school system by 2023. Most of these goals are raising test scores and statistics which can seem like we are just trying to look better, but increasing our percentage of 3rd graders on track for reading from roughly 33% to 50% will drastically improve the lives, odds of graduating, and odds of not being incarcerated for thousands of students across Hamilton County.
The remainder of this presentation talked about the things that are already being implemented in the county, such as Clear Learning Targets (or CLTs), and that the school board has high standards for our county. A couple of notable things that happened in Hamilton County this past year: