Bumps in the Road Aside, Vernon Superintendent Welcoming an Approved Aliance District Reform Plan

She said the school board will see the full plan on its Oct. 9 agenda.

Vernon learned that it was getting the extra Alliance District Educational Cost Sharing funds just about the same way it found out it was eligible for them.

The approval of the Alliance District application - the reform package that comes with what the state is terming a bottom 30 district - was released to the media at 5:33 p.m. on Tuesday by the state Department of Education. Superintendent of Schools Mary Conway - and the rest of the administration - had gone home for the day.

Several months earlier, a cryptic release was sent out late in the day announcing that 30 districts deemed as underperforming by the state in terms of standardized test scores were eligible for more funds to implement a reform package.

Tuesday's announcement was not written in code, but it did take a couple of reads to figure out the reform plan was approved.

Conway said on Wednesday she knew of the approval but was never told when it would be released. She had to ask Vernon Patch for a copy of the announcement.

She immediately said she was glad an approved plan was finally in place and that she "welcomes"  chance to implement it.

In all, Vernon is slated to receive $671,611 in additional ECS funds. Reform plans highlights include:

• Vernon plans to implement the standards-based Common Core curriculum to strengthen classroom instruction and develop Common Core aligned assessments to inform teacher practice.

• Vernon will build capacity to address student needs through intensive, collaborative, job-embedded professional learning by: increasing the number of district-level coaches and focusing their support on K-3 literacy and numeracy, and implementing the state’s teacher evaluation and support system.

• Responding with a sense of urgency to the achievement gap, Vernon is devoting a substantial portion of its Alliance District funding to strengthening interventions for students in need of improvement by: implementing additional reading interventions according to need, adding before and after school reading interventions, and ensuring that high-school students have multiple avenues to recover lost credit.

There is a lot more detail that will be discussed - piece by piece - at the  Oct. 9 Board of Education meeting, Conway said.

"It will be in the agenda packet for the board to look at," she said.


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