The Bangor School Board is looking to invest in a $70,000 partnership with Step-by-Step to improve literacy among the elementary students in the District.
The District’s Director of Curriculum Joseph Kondisko recommended to the Board to invest in this partnership after reviewing the assessment data throughout the District since his arrival at Bangor five months ago. According to Kondisko, teachers throughout the District have expressed that they feel they are “over-testing but under-assessing” their students, so he came up with a systematic approach to data collection to help resolve this issue.
After researching surrounding school districts, Kondisko believes that a partnership with Step-by-Step is the best investment for the students of Bangor School District. This program, if approved by the Board, will begin February 1st and run until the last day of school in June. Kondisko will then review the program and its results to determine if the District should re-invest in the fall of next school year. The approximate cost of this five-month program is $70,000. Kondisko pointed out that this cost is for the resource kits that support a systematic approach to instruction and these kits will help to train the teachers throughout the District. The program is only designed to help with literacy, and Kondisko believes that if the District can improve their literacy among the elementary students, “a lot of other things will fall into place.”
“We’ve looked at other programs and no one gets the results that this program does,” says Kondisko.
Kondisko has sifted through all areas of the curriculum at the kindergarten level throughout the District and has eliminated excess assessment programs that are not benefitting the students. According to the District’s Business Manager, Stephen G. Wiencek, Kondisko has managed to save an estimated $35,000 from these eliminated programs, so Wiencek believes that the $70,000 investment in the Step-by-Step partnership won’t have as much of a financial impact on the District because they are currently saving money.
“We need to get better tools into our staff’s hands and that’s what this program is,” comments Wiencek.
If the District enters into this partnership for the remainder of this school year, Kondisko will be re-evaluating the data and results before the District agrees to a full year partnership for next school year. He has estimated that the cost for a full year partnership will be approximately $200,000.
The Board will be formally voting on this recommended partnership at their next Regular Business Meeting on January 28th.