Student Investment Account
Since August, 2019, the Harrisburg School District leadership team comprised of teachers, staff and parents met several times to determine the best use of the Student Investment Account (SIA) funds. They reviewed state testing data from the past two years to determine which student groups have the most academic disparities. As the superintendent, I submitted a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) in November 2019 to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). After engaging the community and staff through surveys and meetings, along with their own research, a priority list was created by the district leadership team. In January 2020, we learned that the Harrisburg School District’s allotted amount will be $717,000. Meeting ODE’s criteria, the purpose of these funds is to:
Meet students’ mental and behavioral health needs
Increase academic achievement and reduce academic disparities for
students of color;
students with disabilities;
emerging bilingual students;
students navigating poverty, homelessness, and foster care
The district must submit the Student Investment Account, SIA application between March 2 and April 15, 2020. The allowable uses of the the SIA funds fall under the following categories:
Reducing Class Size or case loads
Health and Safety
Harrisburg School District Board of Directors had their first reading at the February 10, 2020 board meeting of the SIA application with the understanding that the administrators would continue to refine the application for final approval at the March 9, 2020 board meeting. The district leadership team weighed in on the priorities and administrators selected the items for the plan. The following items are part of the plan for the 2020-2021 school year:
Hire a Middle School Principal/Special Education Director (Decreasing Caseloads) - Adding back another school building principal will create equitability between principals. Placing a building principal in the building will create a culture of learning and trust. A major component of the principal’s duties fall under instructional leader. The most effective way to increase student engagement is by supporting teachers through on-going, job-embedded, coaching and feedback in a way that maximizes how teachers effectively use their instructional time.
Hire a full time Behavioral Specialist ( Health and Safety) - Currently the district pays LBL ESD for two days a week of Behavioral specialist time. We have asked the ESD for a four day a week person who will primarily work with the students and staff in grades k-8. This person will be able to coach teachers who have students with extreme behavior issues and oversee the wellness/student support rooms at the elementary and middle schools.
Hire a full time Family Support Liaison (Health and Safety) - Currently the district has one day contracted with LBL ESD. We are asking the ESD for four days a week of this person so they can interact with students and provide the necessary support for our families in the district.
Hire a Secretary II person for the middle school (Health and Safety) - This person will track student attendance and oversee the detention and health room. Currently junior high student attendance has dropped off slightly as it is difficult for the current staff to follow up with family communications.
Hire counselors for k-8 grades (Health and Safety) - Currently the district has a counseling intern at the k-4 level. Although this has filled a void it is much better to have a licensed school counselor in both the elementary and middle schools. The counselors will be able to instruct students and staff using best practices in social and emotional learning.
Hire a full time Physical Education teacher at the elementary school. (Well-Rounded Education) - Currently, we have a halftime p.e. teacher who will increase to full time. This allows our students in grades k-4 to have more time learning about physical fitness.
Hire a classified staff person for the middle school alternative education/wellness room ( Health and Safety) - This is a new addition providing a place for middle school students and staff, a place for students to regulate their emotions by learning social and emotional skills. The behavior specialist along with the building principal will oversee this person's duties and responsibilities.
Hire three classified staff to assist the 4th grade teachers (Reducing Class SIze) - This provides the teachers assistance in their classrooms and hopefully increases student academic performance and reduces inappropriate behaviors.
Partnering with Rural Schools Network (Health and Safety) - They provide mentoring for the building principals, Professional Learning Community, PLC training for staff and Social Emotional Learning, SEL training for staff and community engagement.
Partnering with BTC consulting ( Instructional Time) - We are in our first year with a new teacher evaluation system. BTC will provide training for building principals on providing quality on-going feedback to teachers. Also, making sure that the system is used in a consistent, efficient and effective manner.