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TFSD 2021-22 Action Plan

Life Ready Students
  1. The TFSD will effectively address challenges related to the loss of instruction time during the 20-21 school year. This includes closing achievement gaps and implementing programs designed to meet the needs of families in Twin Falls. Progress towards this goal will be illustrated through the CIP Metrics (see addendum 1).
  2. The TFSD will demonstrate continuous improvement in academic achievement in ELA and Math.  This includes a variety of data points from various academic indicators from each school.
  3. The TFSD will demonstrate continued growth in all academic measures.  Progress towards this goal will be illustrated through the CIP Metrics (see addendum 1).
Quality Learning Opportunities
  1. The TFSD Secondary Programs will continue expanding CTE programs while actively working on the development of a technical center.  Increase enrollment in CTE programs at the high schools, and opportunities for TFSD students at all levels.
  2. The TFSD Secondary Programs will maximize advanced opportunities funding as demonstrated by student utilization–dual credit, completion of CTE capstone courses, etc.
  3. The TFSD Elementary programs will continue to implement and expand enrichment activities and programs for students (i.e. STEM/STEAM, fine arts, fitness, etc.).
A Healthy Learning Community

The TFSD will address mental health challenges amongst students and staff by providing and evaluating support programs for both groups.

Quality Personnel
  1. The TFSD leadership will meet with each principal in the fall to collaboratively set goals for the year.  This team will also evaluate progress at the end of the school year.
  2. The TFSD will hire and retain qualified staff for certified and classified positions.  A report will be made to the Board before April 2022 demonstrating progress in this area.
School Community Public Relations
  1. The TFSD will initiate a PR plan centered around advanced opportunities for students in the TFSD.  Highlights will include dual credits, students earning associate degrees, CTE opportunities, enrichment opportunities at the elementary level, and academic support.
  2. The TFSD Administrators will be visible throughout the district and community.  Each administrator will attend school events at TFSD schools during the year.  In addition, Administrators will attend community events and collaborate with other community leaders.
School Environment and Facilities
  1. The Director of Operations will continue to implement the  10-year long-range plan for facilities.  Topics include security, HVAC, furniture, and technology.
  2. The TFSD will complete the process of attendance zone adjustments as needed to ensure a more even distribution of students at the elementary level. 
Stewardship of Resources
  1. The TFSD will ensure an accurate and responsible budget is implemented for 2021-2022 that maintains programs, takes care of employees, and keeps the district in sound financial condition.
  2. The TFSD will create and implement a plan to utilize the approximately $15 million provided to the TFSD through the American Rescue Plan.  The plan, created with stakeholder input, will be designed to maximize the use of these funds to improve the quality of education in the TFSD.
  3. The TFSD will continue ensuring transparency with the budget and any challenges that arise in the coming year.
Continuous Improvement Measures

TFSD 2020-21 Action Plan

Life Ready Students
  • The District will effectively address challenges related to the loss of instruction time due to COVID-19. This includes closing achievement gaps and implementing programs designed to meet the needs of families in Twin Falls.

January Update: Early in the summer of 2020 instructional coaches and teachers began diving into the content that is typically covered at the end of the school year to develop ways that this instruction could be scaffolded to the upcoming school year. In many grade levels and content areas, teachers were able to and continue to pre-teach concepts that might have been missed during the school closure months in areas that match up with the following year’s curriculum. These teams utilized student achievement data collected in the first weeks of school to identify specific areas where students were not performing as expected and developed strategies to address those gaps. 

Further loss of in-person instructional time continues to be a concern as it is clear some students struggle to engage during distance learning. That being said, TFSD instructional teams have put in tremendous efforts to continually evaluate student progress and pivot as students’ needs change over the course of the year.

July Update: District instructional teams have been evaluating student achievement data to best address learning loss resulting from the loss of instructional time. Staff members will continue to utilize evidence-based strategies to support students and help them grow. During the summer of 2021, the district offered summer school enrollment to more than double the number of students to which it was available in previous years. This practice allowed more students to master skills that may have been missed or with which they are struggling. In addition, the district hired more teachers for the summer school program to keep the student-to-teacher ratios low and provide more individualized instruction.

The district is also mapping out strategies to utilize ARP/ESSR III funding to provide academic, SEL, and operational support for students affected by learning loss. A committee of stakeholders will evaluate and prioritize the use of this funding to provide comprehensive support for students.

  • The District will demonstrate continuous improvement in academic achievement.  This includes a variety of data points from various academic indicators from each school.

January Update: As mentioned in item #1, instructional teams are working diligently to scaffold any missing skills or content alongside the present year’s curriculum. In times when students are not receiving as much in-person instruction, teachers are ready to hone in on the most necessary content items for the most effective delivery of instruction geared at specific content standards. This practice will ensure that even as instructional models shift throughout the school year, students will still be provided with the most needed skills to increase their achievement data.

July Update: While the loss of instructional time over the previous year and a half has created some challenges and setbacks in this regard, overall district students are performing better than expected on all academic indicators. It will take some time to regain ground lost due to the pandemic. However, instructional staff members will be able to utilize collaboration time to address any gaps in student achievement. This coming academic year it will be imperative for staff to identify specific gaps in learning and use targeted, highly effective interventions to improve student learning.

  • The District will increase the number of grade levels at or above the state average on ISAT and IRI and/or demonstrate continued growth in these areas.  In addition, demonstrate positive trends in SAT and graduation rates. 

January Update: The district continues to focus on this goal while understanding that loss of instructional time from the spring may have an impact on student achievement. As mentioned in items #1 and #2, instructional teams have developed well-thought-out strategies to help students gain any skills or content that may have been missed in the spring and to provide intentional instruction in times when students are learning remotely. 

July Update: District Administrators will present data indicators to the Board at the July Work Session. The District recognizes that COVID-19 and the resulting loss of instructional time has had a significant impact on student’s academic achievement.  That being said, student achievement across the state has likely been impacted and the District will utilize a variety of effective strategies to make gains (growth) in this area in the coming years. 

  • Each principal will work with their director and the superintendent in the fall to collaboratively set goals for the year.  Evaluate progress at the end of the school year.

January Update: In the fall, all principals met with their Director, the Superintendent, and the Associate Superintendent to set building goals for the year. These conversations included strategies for how the buildings will address their unique achievement gaps brought on by the loss of in-person instructional time in the spring.

July Update: District administrators meet in the spring to discuss their goals and evaluate progress towards those goals. As the new year begins, the superintendent and directors will meet to discuss goals for the 21-22 school year.

Quality Learning Opportunities
  • The Superintendent and Directors will effectively communicate and implement the reopening plan created by the HEAL Taskforce. Reports will be made at each Board meeting this coming year.

January Update: The TFSD has communicated and implemented the reopening plan developed by the HEAL Taskforce. Communication of the plan included email, webpage, social media, and phone calls from the district level. In addition, the District hosted training and informational sessions for staff members. At the building level, principals were provided with tools and resources to help communicate building-level-specific items as well as reminders about district-wide protocols. The TFSD also hosted a virtual Town Hall meeting with representatives from St. Luke’s and South Central Public Health District. During this forum, community members could submit questions about the COVID protocols and other COVID-related topics. 

As more information about COVID-19 and new recommendations from the CDC, South Central Public Health District, and St. Luke’s have become available, the district has been nimble and has made changes to the plan. This complex issue has caused challenges for education entities across the country. The TFSD has been successful in working closely with the local health district to evaluate all available resources in making recommendations to the school board. To date, the TFSD has not had to close any individual school due to COVID-19. 

July Update: The TFSD utilized the COVID Operational Protocols throughout the year, making adjustments and shifting from one operational mode to another as necessary. Throughout the year, the distinct utilized a two-way communication model allowing parents and other stakeholders to express concerns and thoughts about the protocols. District Administrators continually corresponded with patrons to give as much information as possible about the protocols and reasoning for them. For the coming school year the TFSD is required by the American Rescue Plan to post a Safe Return to School Plan on the district website. Due to the work done last year, we were able to modify our plan based on community feedback and new guidance from the SCPHD/CDC.  This modified plan will be available on the district website this month.

  • District Personnel will ensure the system effectively and efficiently modifies and adjusts practices as needed in order to ensure the continuation of high-impact programs during crisis situations and ensure that these changes are effectively communicated.

January Update: In October the TFSD shifted to the hybrid (Orange) instructional model under the COVID Protocols due to increasing COVID case numbers in the community. Teachers quickly adapted their instructional practices. Prior to the change to the hybrid model, teachers and principals consistently communicated and prepared students for this possibility and provided resources to assist students with their distance learning. 

July Update: The District was able to operate under an all in-person model for the remainder of the school year. Teachers utilized additional collaboration and planning time to provide instruction to students who were not able to attend classes in person due to quarantine or illness.

  • The Superintendent in collaboration with the Secondary Programs Director and principals will continue expanding CTE programs while promoting a technical center and/or partnership with CSI.  Increase enrollment in CTE programs at the high schools, and opportunities for TFSD students at all levels, recognizing that this may be difficult this year due to challenges related to mitigating COVID-19.

January Update: The Superintendent and Secondary Programs Director have begun pulling together a group of stakeholders to discuss the possibility of a potential food science CTE program in the TFSD. Due to unstable enrollment numbers and potential changes to CTE funding, it is unclear at what point a program like this might be feasible. That being said, the team will continue to explore the possibility to be as prepared as possible when student enrollment and funding would support this kind of program.

Student interest in CTE programs appears to remain constant even as the school system transitions between in-person and hybrid learning models. The District will present data for CTE enrollment at the end of the school year. 

July Update: The District continues to explore the possibility of partnerships with organizations like CSI to provide more CTE opportunities for our students. 

  • The Secondary Programs Director and Secondary Personnel will maximize advanced opportunities funding as demonstrated by student utilization.

January Update: So far this year 922 students have utilized $268,782 of Advanced Opportunities funding to take 1,039 dual credit courses, receive 3,143 college credits, and take 50 exams. This includes 84 middle school students, the largest number of students of that age group to participate in the program to date. The overall numbers can be compared to 862 students taking 702 courses for 2,412 credits in January of 2020.

July Update: For the 2020-21 school year, 1,293 students utilized $737,591 of Advanced Opportunities funding to take 698 overload courses, 2863 dual credit courses, and 1 workforce training course. This resulted in 9,041 dual credits being earned and 313 exams being taken.

  • The District will complete the process of attendance zone adjustments (if any) to ensure a more even distribution of students at the elementary level.  

January Update: The TFSD continues to monitor student enrollment levels. Currently, enrollment in TFSD schools is down by roughly four percent with additional students participating in distance learning full time. No individual school is experiencing enrollment numbers that necessitate zone adjustments. This will be communicated with parents in the February edition of the District Focus. District officials will continue to monitor and evaluate enrollment changes throughout the spring and will likely bring back the attendance zone committee in the fall of 2021 when enrollment changes brought on by the pandemic are expected to be less profound.

July Update: As mentioned above, the drop in enrollment this year has allowed the district to hold off on making any attendance zone adjustments. Throughout the spring semester, many schools saw continued growth and the return of students who had opted for other programs during the first semester. Early in the 2021-22 school year the District will reconvene the attendance zone committee to begin evaluating any necessary changes. 

A Healthy Learning Community
  • The District will support the implementation of strategies designed to promote and foster an environment of wellness for staff and students.  Reports will be given during the Strategic Plan Board Updates. 

January Update: The TFSD has implemented several strategies focused on student and staff wellness. The District formed a committee to promote educator wellness that provided seminars about stress management and mental health in the fall. Mental Health and Wellbeing was also a focus area of the Heal Task Force reopening plan. In collaboration with the Twin Falls Education Association, all staff members offered training during the summer institute in-service days. This training focused on mindfulness and stress management. 

At the elementary level, the counselors have focused on making resources and tools easily accessible to parents, and each school has a counseling webpage where parents can easily find resources about social-emotional learning. Many schools, including Twin Falls and Canyon Ridge high schools, are also working on Behavioral Health Partnerships where licensed mental health professionals hold clinical counseling appointments on campus to ensure that students have easy access to these services. Twin Falls High School is in its second year of the Sources of Strength program where students provide peer-to-peer support. 

July Update: In addition to the strategies mentioned above, the TFSD has agreed to increase the number of Employee Assistance Plan counseling sessions available to staff members from three to ten. Further, the District is exploring possible uses of the ESSR III funding that could support student wellness. The District will utilize a stakeholder committee to evaluate and prioritize the utilization of this funding source. 

Quality Personnel
  • The District will hire and retain qualified staff for certified and classified positions.  A report will be made to the Board before April 2020 demonstrating progress in this area.

January Update: The District continues to utilize best practices for hiring including background and reference checks for all employees. The District has also begun to evaluate half-time positions that have remained unfilled for some time to determine if these positions might be combined to create more attractive job opportunities for applicants. The TFSD will pilot these options at a couple of schools and determine how best to address long-standing vacancies district-wide. 

July Update: In some cases, schools are utilizing the option to combine some half-time positions to create a more appealing full-time position. The combinations include half-time para positions and crossing guard/playground aid positions. Additionally, the District utilized some federal COVID-related funding to implement bonuses for guest teachers who worked over ten days each month during the fall and winter. The District continues to evaluate potential avenues to improve recruitment and retention, specifically in the classified ranks, as the labor market in the Magic Valley and Idaho as a whole appears to be challenging. 

School Community Public Relations

  • District Administrators will be visible throughout the district and community.  The Superintendent will attend three school events at each school during the year, and attend a school faculty meeting or collaboration session once a week.  In addition, District Administrators will attend community events and collaborate with other community leaders.

January Update: Even with limited gatherings throughout the community, district administrators continue to be engaged with community organizations. While in-person meetings have been limited, district administrators have been attending meetings digitally. 

July Update: District Administrators took a concerted effort to be present at building activities and community events throughout the spring. Most recently, a team of district office staff members participated in the Voices Against Violence Fundraiser, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. 

  • The Superintendent will continue utilizing the Highlights of the Week to be sent out each Friday.

January Update: The Superintendent continues to provide the Highlights of the Week email each Friday to staff members, community members, and board members. These emails provide a sneak-peek into schools and showcase the many ways teachers and students are adapting and overcoming the challenges presented by COVID-19.

July Update: The Superintendent provided Highlights of the Week every Friday throughout the school year. The District is exploring ways to help this mailing reach a broader audience and to further celebrate the successes outlined in this recurring email.

  • The Superintendent will continue providing the Board with an update each week.

January Update: The Superintendent continues to provide the School Board with a weekly email update. These emails are even more critical this year as they allow the school board to stay apprised of the constantly changing dynamics presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. These emails included up-to-date information about the number of students and staff members out of school due to the virus. 

July Update: Same as above.

  • The Superintendent will meet with each Board member individually during the 2020-2021 school year to ensure open communication.

January Update: The Superintendent has completed these individual annual meetings with each board member. This process provides a venue for the Superintendent and individual board members to ensure that communication strategies are working effectively. 

July Update: Same as above

School Community Public Relations
  • District Administrators will be visible throughout the district and community.  The Superintendent will attend three school events at each school during the year, and attend a school faculty meeting or collaboration session once a week.  In addition, District Administrators will attend community events and collaborate with other community leaders.

January Update: Even with limited gatherings throughout the community, district administrators continue to be engaged with community organizations. While in-person meetings have been limited, district administrators have been attending meetings digitally. 

July Update: District Administrators took a concerted effort to be present at building activities and community events throughout the spring. Most recently, a team of district office staff members participated in the Voices Against Violence Fundraiser, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. 

  • The Superintendent will continue utilizing the Highlights of the Week to be sent out each Friday.

January Update: The Superintendent continues to provide the Highlights of the Week email each Friday to staff members, community members, and board members. These emails provide a sneak-peek into schools and showcase the many ways teachers and students are adapting and overcoming the challenges presented by COVID-19.

July Update: The Superintendent provided Highlights of the Week every Friday throughout the school year. The District is exploring ways to help this mailing reach a broader audience and to further celebrate the successes outlined in this recurring email.

  • The Superintendent will continue providing the Board with an update each week.

January Update: The Superintendent continues to provide the School Board with a weekly email update. These emails are even more critical this year as they allow the school board to stay apprised of the constantly changing dynamics presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. These emails included up-to-date information about the number of students and staff members out of school due to the virus. 

July Update: Same as above.

  • The Superintendent will meet with each Board member individually during the 2020-2021 school year to ensure open communication.

January Update: The Superintendent has completed these individual annual meetings with each board member. This process provides a venue for the Superintendent and individual board members to ensure that communication strategies are working effectively. 

July Update: Same as above

School Environment and Facilities
  • The Superintendent will work with the Director of Operations to continue the implementation of the 10-year long-range plan for facilities.  Topics include security, HVAC, furniture, and technology.

January Update: With the addition of COVID-related expenses, the Director of Operations has made shifts to address these needs as well as continue to plan for the future in the 10-year long-range facilities plan. The Director of Operations will present an update to the School Board at the January 27 Board Work Session.

July Update: The Director of Operations will present an update to the School Board at the July Board Work Session.

Stewardship of Resources
  • The Superintendent will ensure an accurate and responsible budget is created and implemented for 2020-2021 that maintains programs, takes care of employees, and keeps the district in sound financial condition.

January Update: The TFSD has published its budget for the 2020-21 school year. This budget is conservative in nature and ensures that the district can continue to offer a wide variety of programs and support to our students. In addition, this budget allows buildings to spend a portion of their budget but holds back some until after enrollment and attendance numbers are finalized by the state in the spring, which ensures that the district will not have to make further cuts if there is a significant change to those funding sources. 

July Update: The Superintendent has worked closely with the Finance Department throughout the school year to ensure that the budget stays on track and to address any unforeseen expenditures. Due to delays in funding appropriations from the Legislature, schools were not able to utilize their entire budget until late in the fiscal year. However, this practice safeguarded against budget shortfalls in a year when funding was more volatile than normal. Additionally, the District was able to navigate changes to the distribution factor thanks to conservative planning. 

  • The District will effectively manage CARES funds in a responsible manner.

January Update: District administrators have worked effectively to utilize all available CARES resources to address the needs brought about by the COVID pandemic. This includes purchasing additional technology, implementing online learning platforms, and additional compensation to staff members who have put in additional time and/or worked in hazardous environments. 

July Update: The TFSD has utilized a large portion of the CARES funding to operate and maintain schools and will continue to do so. Additionally, the District is developing a plan to utilize federal ARP/ESSR funding to support students and staff members as well as maintain a balanced budget during the upcoming years which may be tumultuous due to holdbacks from the state and potentially decreases in student enrollment/attendance.  

  • The Superintendent in collaboration with the Finance Department will continue ensuring transparency with the budget and any challenges that arise in the coming year.

January Update: The TFSD underwent an annual audit process. The auditors had no findings, meaning the District has strong financial practices. In addition, while refinancing the bonds, the District received an A1 rating from Moody’s, which is one of the highest ratings a public entity can receive.  

July Update: The District has been proactive in communicating with all stakeholders the complexities of school finance. Throughout the year, the Superintendent has been quick to notify staff members of any potential legislation, federal guidance, or other factors that could have an impact on the District’s budget. These communications have helped keep the community apprised of the challenges and benefits of the variety of funding sources available to the District. 

  • The District will continue efforts to increase carryover to a minimum of 5% in unrestricted funds.

January Update: The District has been utilizing a conservative budget. With questions still lingering regarding additional holdbacks from the state level, it is unclear if this goal will be achieved. However, if all goes as planned the District is poised to add to the carryover, which ensures financial stability for the District in the future.

July Update: The District has made substantial progress in this area. Federal funding has allowed the district to utilize those funds to address unforeseen expenses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because it is likely that state funding will decrease, it will be critical that the District continues to be conservative in projections while utilizing federal funds to address needs around the district. 

  • The Superintendent will lead the Budget Advisory Committee through the decision-making process related to the emergency levy and upcoming supplemental levy.

January Update: The TFSD did not qualify for an emergency levy this year, however, the BAC did meet to evaluate the need for a supplemental levy. After reviewing district financials, evaluating the current economic climate in the community, and discussing potential needs in the District, the BAC recommended to the School Board that the District pursue somewhere between $5.5 and $6 million for the next two years through the supplemental levy. The School Board settled on $5.7 to address the needs of the district and provide tax relief in conjunction with the refinancing of the District’s bonds. 

July Update: Same as above. 

Continuous Improvement Measures

 

Performance Metric 2019-20 Benchmarks (LEA Chosen 2019-2020 Performance Targets) 2020-21 Benchmarks (LEA Chosen 2020-2021 Performance Targets)
4-year cohort graduation rate 2019 cohort 2020 cohort
85% 85%
% students who meet the college ready benchmark on the college entrance exam (SAT/ACT) 47% 47%
% students who score proficient on the 8th grade math ISAT 42% 42%
% students who score proficient on the 8th grade ELA ISAT 55% 55%
% students who score proficient on the 6th grade math ISAT 44% 44%
% students who score proficient on the 6th grade ELA ISAT 56% 56%
% students who score proficient on the Kindergarten Spring IRI 63% 63%
% students who score proficient on the Grade 1 Spring IRI 67% 67%
% students who score proficient on the Grade 2 Spring IRI 75% 75%
% students who score proficient on the Grade 3 Spring IRI 73% 73%

 

Report of Progress: Graduation rates for the 2019-20 cohort will be available after they are finalized by the state. Due to COVID-19 the TFSD was not able to gather data to support progress towards the 2019-20 Benchmarks. However, based on interim assessments our staff members felt that students we making gains toward those goals. As we begin evaluating where our students are coming back to us this fall, it is clear that there are some gaps and that we will have to be intentional to reach our goals. Instructional Coaches and teaching teams have already dedicated incredible amounts of time to ensure that students will not only catch up on what missed in the spring but will also make progress towards grade-level standards.

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