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Charlotte Richter | Staff Writer

Unified School District 207 Deputy Superintendent Dr. SuAnn Grant announced
that the district earned the Kansas State Department of Education’s 2021 Star Award
recognition during the monthly USD 207 Board of Education meeting Dec. 13 at the dis-trict office. Other district updates during the meeting included professional development
insights and progress on the new Patton Junior High School.

Unified School District 207 Deputy Superintendent Dr. SuAnn Grant announces that the district earned a silver Kansas State Department of Education Star Award in the Academically Prepared for Postsecondary category during the USD 207 Board of Education meeting Dec. 13 at the district office. USD 207 was the only district awarded in the category this year. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


The Kansans Can Star Recognition Program recognizes district success in valued outcome
measures, and “these outcomes, categorized as either quantitative or qualitative measures, serve as the roadmap for Kansas to reach its vi- sion for education,” according to a KSDE press release.


The Star Award is recognized in gold, silver, bronze and copper tiers in each category;
gold is the highest level of achievement. USD 207 earned a silver Academically Prepared for Postsecondary Award. USD 207 is the only school to win a silver award in the category for 2021. No school districts earned a gold award this category year.


Grant said a quantitative measurement was used to evaluate state assessment scores in the district. The overarching goal of the Academically Prepared for Postsecondary category is for 75 percent or more of students in the district to earn a “3” or “4” on state assessments across all grade levels assessed. Districts must be within the 64-74 percent
range of student achievement to earn a silver award.


Grant said the scores evaluated rep- resented the 2020 state assessment scores, the
tests from last spring, across all subjects and programs.


“The recognition of this from the state speaks volumes to what our staff has been able to do even though COVID, and it speaks volumes because… we were the only school district to earn this award, and no one was above us. Kudos to our team across all of the buildings and the work they’ve done and continue to do despite challenging times in all
classrooms.”


Grant said she is excited to see what the future holds during the spring state assessments.


Professional development update
Grant presented updates on professional development for educators and staff in the district.


“Having recognition at high levels comes with not only a lot of work in the classrooms
but with our educators taking time to continue to grow and learn themselves in order to apply those best practices that are occurring across every classroom in the district,” Grant said.


Grant said the district offered professional development in the form of individual and
group learning and the use of outside professionals this fall. She said priorities included the support of social and emotional wellness and instruction style to provide development opportunities for teachers. The board has received positive feedback from educators following the development opportunities.


New Patton update
Chief Financial Officer Rich Holden updated the board on the construction of the new
Patton Junior High School.

Holden said the outside of the building has made significant progress, noting the exterior
is 98-99 percent complete, save some details on the roof and tilt-up concrete wall.


“Overall the outside of the building looks great,” Holden said. “The project is moving
along.”


He said starting in January, interior completion will done by grade level beginning with
the sixth-grade area. Holden said furniture has been ordered and installation will begin by early April.


NAFIS information
Superintendent Dr. Keith Mispagel followed up with the National Association of Federally
Impacted Schools’ actions after the death of Executive Director Hilary Goldmann. Mispagel said he initiated the outline for the next executive director search between late January and the March NAFIS Spring Conference.


“It has been a significant loss for the organization and such a tragic loss of life; as an organization, we’re moving forward,” Mispagel said.


“(Goldmann) was always a strong advocate and had a lot of energy to do a lot of good things for the kids and Federal Impact Aid.”


The next USD 207 School Board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the district office. School board meetings are open to the public.

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