Surveys presented to school board

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Steiner and James elementary school principals presented data on their strengths and weaknesses, as indicated by surveys parents, teachers and students completed, at the Portales Municipal Schools Board of Education meeting Monday.

The surveys look at the overall performance of the school.

Steiner Principal Sharon Epps said there is a common thread throughout the survey.

Epps said the school’s strengths include personnel development and the testing systems it uses to monitor progress on meeting state standards. She said school staff members feel they can improve by increasing instructional time in math.

“If you have a 10-hour day, I don’t know if you can find enough time or not,” Epps said. “They always feel that we need to protect our instructional time. We really want to protect our math as much as our reading.”

Epps said teachers want to have time to talk to teachers in higher or lower grades to get more input, and this will come with new alignment.

“We’re excited about the move to James Elementary,” Epps said. “We feel that this will allow for more vertical structure, more sharing of resources, because you’re combining two grade levels, which they had before, but first grade wasn’t there.”

James Principal Mark Gormley said 97.6 percent of parents surveyed believe administrative staff and teachers at James are teaching their children well.

“That was the No. 1 thing, and that is something that we celebrate at our school,” Gormley said. “They really and truly believe that we’re meeting the needs of our students. They believe that we stress student achievement.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved budget adjustments requests.

• Approved a resolution declaring certain fixed assets obsolete and authorizing disposal.

• Approved payments of bills and expenditures.