Hess offers more details of 2020 plan

Lebanon Community School District Superintendent Rob Hess gave the second installment of his 2020 Vision process reflection at the Nov. 9 school board meeting.

The 2020 Vision, which was published in 2010 has 25 areas of focus. Hess gave his reflections of areas one through five at the October school board meeting.

The district is planning a spring work session to coordinate all of the 2020 Vision reflections with board goals and the district’s strategic plan.

The vision for area six, college and guidance, lists each school having access to counseling
services, including academic and career and college support.

In his report, Hess said adding five fulltime equivalent of counseling support at the elementary level as well as social workers is evidence that the district has made progress in this area. Lebanon High School has developed a staffed career and college center and in 2017, LHS “met all of the requirements to become a highly certified AVID site” in fewer than four years.

For next steps in this area, Hess said the district plans to develop a comprehensive counseling model to bring district counselors together and provide support and training.

In the area of experiential learning, the priority listed is “rigor/college & career.”

This vision includes hands-on experience for all grade levels.

“Community service and civic engagement are part of this learning,” Hess said in his report. “Students are encouraged to be self-directed when engaged in experiential learning and are given opportunities to participate in creative problem solving.”

He listed the expansion of career and technical training as evidence of progress. Hess said elective opportunities, such as foreign language, drama, art and music have been added at the middle school level.

Next steps in this area include creating a school garden at Green Acres School.

“This will mean adding additional FTE to the current .6 garden teaching position,” He said. “It takes training, resources, and specialized staff to develop effective experiential learning programs.”

For the area of career-related learning, the vision is to give students opportunities to gain career related experiences through community partnerships.

CTE programs, the alternative education program and the employability score were listed as evidence for this area.

The employability score is based on a student’s attendance, behavior, homework completion and teamwork.

“I haven’t heard of anybody that doesn’t like that,” said board member Tom Oliver about the employability score.

He said the matter came up a lot at the Oregon School Board Association conference the previous weekend.

Board member Russ McUne said the score would be useful especially if there is consistency across the school districts.

“The result will be better information to students, parents, and the community, and I believe it this better information will allow us to intervene with students more effectively
and help more of them to be successful in the long run,” Hess said.

McUne said being able to maintain funding for CTE was a concern.

“(It’s) sad to look at CTE programs we’ve had over the years that have dwindled away,” McUne said.

For area of quality staff, the priority of “rigor/culture” focuses on professional growth and skill development for all staff members.

As evidence of progress in this area, Hess said “LCSD has a rigorous hiring and training program for all certified positions. Our process includes multiple steps to ensure we are finding the most qualified candidates for every position.”

Training in which the district has invested includes AVID, AP, CTE programs, and Courageous Conversations.

In the area of talented and gifted programs, rigor was listed as the priority. The vision is to provide TAG students with “a wide variety of challenging and high-level activities and options both in school and through community activities.”

The district has developed a TAG handbook that communicates
the program, expectations, services, and identification system.

Hess listed advanced courses and activities such as Battle of the Books as evidence of progress in this area.

As a next step, he said “We need to continue sustaining this level of support including communicating the opportunities to parents and making sure families and staff review TAG plans appropriately every year.”