School super staying on

THE COAST Mountains School District is extending the contract of its superintendent who was originally hired as a temporary measure.

Nancy Wells was first brought in to fill the gap between the sudden departure of Rob Greenwood in the fall of 2010 and the hiring of a new superintendent.

But her contract has since been extended several times.

Wells said she wanted the district to have an uninterrupted year, saying that last year's job disruption caused by teachers made it difficult to put the district on a stable footing.

And if she left this year, work would be interrupted through the hiring of a new superintendent.

And I’m enjoying it and things are going well,” Wells said. “The thing is there are fantastic people in this district, very capable educators. It’s their district, they’ve always been here, and they just needed things to get pulled together so they could start to go – and they’re going. It’s a strong district and it’s going to be even stronger, it just needs to keep moving, it didn’t need to be interrupted.

We can have the interruptions next year when the district will be even more stable and I can see a really smooth transition,” she said.

School board chair Art Erasmus praised Wells for bringing growth and stability to the district.

Our committee structures are predictable, the meetings are predictable, we make a schedule and we stick to it,” he said, of how the district runs under Wells. “And she’s passionate about education, talks about learning and students. She’s doing a great job.”

The announcement coincided with the release by Wells of a report on student progress that will be sent to the education ministry the end of this month.

The report repeatedly highlights the district’s developing of an internal database using the Assessment Management System (AMS) to provide data on student learning outcomes and situations.

It means the district will track how students and classrooms are performing, and also compare that data to standardized testing mechanisms like the yearly Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests.

We will have more classroom-based data, and we’ll be able to say, ‘does our classroom-based data that our classroom teachers are producing … match the FSA, do our report card data match the FSA?’ We’ll be able to produce that once the AMS system is implemented,” said Wells.

This is going to be fascinating for trustees over the next two to three years because you’re going to be getting more and more and more higher-quality data and you’re really going to see stories developing. And that’s where the fun part is in education,” she said. “How are we doing? Did we have an impact where we wanted to? If yes, why, and if not, why not? You (the district) haven’t really had those kinds of numbers to talk about, but now you’re going to. I think you’re going to really enjoy it.”


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