KUSD to tout testing successes at conference

Roger Jacks

Roger Jacks

KINGMAN - Board members, principals, teachers and administrators from the Kingman Unified School District have been invited to discuss the district's recent successes before the Arizona School Boards Association's annual conference in Phoenix.

According to district Superintendent Roger Jacks, KUSD was selected from among a number of applicants to give presentations. He said the district applied because its members felt that this year's improving AIMS test scores and Arizona Learns certifications provide a good example for other districts around the state to emulate.

"Our school board thought that we had a good story to tell on last year's achievements with our schools," Jacks said. "We're proud of the fact of what we did last year, and we're excited about the opportunity to present at a statewide conference and represent Kingman Unified School District and the city of Kingman."

KUSD has been asked to provide a series of breakout presentations to the roughly 500 administrators and board members expected to attend the conference. The presentations will focus on how schools' measure of Adequate Yearly Progress is defined, as well as how a district can improve its AYP and Arizona LEARNS certifications at each level of administration, from the school board, to the superintendent, to the principals, down to the individual classroom teachers.

"We're going to go into what we did, as a district, to improve our labels," Jacks said. "I'm going to take it from the superintendent's view: 'Here's the directions we got from the school board, now how do we put that into action in the school district?'"

School board President Pat Carlin is expected to discuss how the school board plotted out its plan for improvements, and how that plan was reflected in its directions to the superintendent and other district administrators. Hualapai Elementary Principal Chris Nutt will elaborate further on how she was able to communicate the board's instructions to teachers and work with them to make the changes happen.

"We went from 'Performing' to 'Highly Performing,'" Nutt said, referring to her school's Arizona LEARNS certification. "I attribute that to the instructional leaders here, the teachers, working together. We all got together and said 'What can we do?' They really stepped it up, collaborated, wrote down goals and went toward achieving those goals."

Finally, district instructional coach Jenelle Victory will describe how, as a teacher at Manzanita Elementary, she was able to translate the meetings she had with her colleagues into real in-classroom results that helped earn Manzanita the district's first Arizona LEARNS "Excelling" certification.

The conference will take place Wednesday and Thursday at the Biltmore Conference Center in Phoenix.