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The Department of Defense Education Activity Community Strategic Plan is pretty much right on target in Pacific Schools. That’s the message from Department of Defense Dependents Schools Pacific Division officials.

The plan is divided into four goals: highest student achievement; performance-driven, efficient management systems; motivated, high performing, diverse workforce; and network of partnerships promoting achievement.

The school’s five-year plan, implemented in 2001, was designed via committee, according to Peggy Bullion, chief of the Pacific Education Division. She said educators, administration personnel and servicemembers came together to create the plan.

The plan is “administered at all levels,” said Bullion, who added that schools can change strategies to fit their needs, but they can’t change the goals. “It’s all geared toward each student meeting the curriculum standards.”

Students meeting the standards is the first goal. Bullion said student progress is gauged through various assessments throughout each school year. She said the most widely recognized is the TerraNova — a standardized achievement test given to students in grades three to 11. The test covers reading/language arts, math, science and social studies.

“The Community Strategic Plan gives us the milestone that we must strive for, which is fewer than 8 percent in the bottom quarter,” Bullion said. “We still have several areas that we have not met our goals — in the lower grades third through fifth — so there is still a small percentage of students still in the bottom quarter.”

Bullion said the other side of that goal is to score 75 percent of students in the “at the standard” category, which is the top half of those tested. While Bullion said the system hasn’t quite reached the goal, they still have some time, as it’s outlined in the plan to be met by October 2006.

Helping to reach the first goal is the second — performance-driven, efficient management systems. According to the CSP, this goal gives educators the resources and a safe learning environment. Walter Smiley, Pacific chief of the fiscal division, said this goal drives all others. He said when you give teachers the tools they need and a good environment to teach in, it creates a positive energy that’s passed on to the students and community.

“With us working with the schools, we help motivate the performance workforce [third goal], which works it’s way up and facilitates the other goals,” Smiley said.

Smiley said some examples of the second goal are the fact that the system is on a seven-year renewal cycle for each course and the technology the schools incorporate. He also said the district has an average of one computer for every 2.1 students.

And the district’s efforts to continually train its staff and improve courses help reach the goals, Bullion said. That’s how the district tries to improve the areas that students test low in.

New programs this year include multiple reading initiatives, additional math training for teachers and several new initiatives for high school students to help prepare for college, Bullion said. She added that middle school students will be able to explore their options and look at various career fields so they can begin to map out their future.

Also new this school year are science programs in all DODDS schools, Bullion said. Science teachers are all going through training on science standards and new materials, and the schools have received new books, resource kits and equipment.

The fourth goal of building a network of partnerships that promote achievement focuses on building stronger local community ties.

“Every school has their own school improvement process … they continually improve communication and the amount of support they get and give,” Bullion said. “The ones that do have the most impact.”

By sticking to the plan, the school knows exactly where it’s heading, according to Smiley.

“We could go in a million different directions,” he said. “But our Community Strategic Plan is our guide to keep us on course.”

New faces in the Pacific

Pacific administrators new to their current location for the 2004-05 school year:

Principals

• Japan DistrictYokota West Elementary School: Lee Kirsch, reassigned from education specialist at Yokota District Office.

• Okinawa DistrictBob Hope Primary School: Bud Iles, reassigned from principal of C.T. Joy Elementary School.

• Korea DistrictSeoul High School: Kathleen Barbee, reassigned from principal of Pusan Elementary School/High School.Taegu Elementary/High School: Helen Bailey, promoted from assistant principal at Kinnick High School.Pusan Elementary/High School: Keith Henson, reassigned from principal of Seoul High School.C.T. Joy Elementary School: Ray Paulson, reassigned from principal of Taegu Elementary/High School.

• Guam DistrictGuam High School: Rita Williams, reassigned from education specialist at DDESS headquarters.

Assistant principals

• Japan DistrictKinnick High School: David Tran, reassigned from assistant principal at M.C. Perry High School.M.C. Perry High School: Kevin O'Brien, promoted from teacher at M.C. Perry Elementary School.Yokosuka Middle School: John Graham, promoted from teacher at Incirlik High School.Yokota Middle School: Gail Anderson, reassigned from assistant principal at Zama High School.

• Okinawa DistrictKadena High School: Joyce Diggs, promoted from teacher at Seoul High School.

• Korea DistrictNo changes

• Guam DistrictNo changes

—Source: DODDS Pacific Headquarters, Okinawa


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