Sublette 9 adopts new teacher evaluation tools

BIG PINEY – Sublette County School District No. 9’s May 22 meeting was packed with people as several students were honored and others presented their work.

The students of the month were recognized to begin the meeting, then Big Piney’s robotics team showed off its robot that earned the squad a spot in the world championships. Other students then presented the result of a collaborative effort among students to define the culture they want to create at Big Piney. The two words they settled on were “Family” and “Pride.”

After that, the majority of the people left before the board dove into its official business.

Big Piney Elementary Principal said several grades recently completed their MAP testing. After also taking the new standardized test in Wyoming – WY-TOPP, and not seeing the results yet Bell said it was nice to get positive feedback right away from the MAP testing.

“It’s so nice because we get immediate results,” Bell said. “It’s nice to get that confirmation that what we’re doing is working with the kids.”

Bell said she’d report the data at the next board meeting after all of the grades have completed their tests.

Big Piney High School principal Jeff Makelky said he’d like to see at least 10 kids take the driver’s education course, which is offered in conjunction with BOCES. “It’s a program to keep kids safe,” Makelky said. “I think it’s essential.”

Makelky also said the school district will begin using a new teacher evaluation method next year, noting that the current one is “too generic.”

The new evaluation, which teachers helped select, is CUES, which stands for: Content, Understanding, Environment and Support.

The CUES rubric revolves around nine methods of teaching, but Makelky said they’d narrow the focus in the first year, focusing on the ones they believe are the most important.

“The whole district is moving in the same direction,” Makelky said. “We want to use the talent in our buildings to help each other out.”

Makleky noted that they actually preferred evaluation method, but it costs a lot more money.

“We think this one will meet our needs,” Makelky said.

Later in the meeting, swim coach Kursty Day asked the board to consider hiring a diving coach for the middle school and high school boys’ and girls’ swimming teams.

Jessie Patterson has volunteered his time to help the middle school teams the last few years, coaching at practice a couple days a week and occasionally attending meets, when his work schedule allowed.

Day said supervising the divers at meets wasn’t a big deal since the diving competition takes place when the swimmers aren’t competing. At practice, however, trying to supervise the kids in the pool and the kids on the board is a challenge.

“In practice, trying to run both is difficult,” Day said. “If we had a dive coach, it would help a lot.

Day said 10 out of 14 middle school swimmers wanted to try diving, as well as three high school girls, three high school boys while five middle school boys dove this year and want to continue diving.

No decision was made.


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