The East Troy Community School District had its annual meeting Sept. 23 to a largely empty lecture hall at the high school. With only a handful of residents, aside from staff and board members, the district presented its proposed 2019-20 budget and set a preliminary tax levy increase of 3.3%.

District Business Manager Kathy Zwirgzdas cautioned that the tax levy increase was based on projected budget number, which would change before the October board meeting when the actual levy would be set. Until the district has the enrollment count finalized for the third week in September and receives the property value numbers and final state aid amounts in October, the actual school revenue numbers were unknown.

School Board President Ted Zess was elected as the annual meeting chairperson and School Board Clerk Steve Lambrechts was elected as the meeting’s recording secretary.

School District Administrator Chris Hibner gave his annual “state of the district” speech citing some of the district’s “celebrations” while acknowledging the challenges the district is facing, including funding.

Hibner talked about the district’s focus on student-driven learning and the importance of preparing kids for anything the future might hold. He said there was a vast difference between successful student and successful learners and East Troy was dedicated to teaching kids how to learn.

Hibner said that test scores were an important component in the learning process and acknowledged East Troy standardized test scores were not where the district wanted them to be, but it wasn’t a matter of raising test scores for the sake of higher scores, but aligning curriculum to demonstrate student achievement with those test scores.

The Department of Instruction recently released the ACT, Forward and Dynamic Learning Maps exams results for last year. The East Troy School District students, in general, are performing above the state average on the tests, the middle school test scores were below the state average, with the exception of the math scores. A more detailed look at the districts test scores will appear in a future edition of the newspaper.

Hibner said the district didn’t rely on a single test score to determine student growth and learning, instead choosing to focus on the whole student and the individual learning experience.

“We need to make sure our kids are proficient in their (learning) targets,” Hibner said. “We have to value learners, the learning process and assessments, we need all three.”

 
 

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