Nampa educators work to improve student achievement

Nampa School District officials aren’t happy with student achievement and are working with teachers and administrators to fix the problem.

“It’s clear after we spent a year looking at all of our choices and where we were – that it’s our best choice to significantly and rapidly improve student learning in Nampa,” Superintendent David Peterson said Tuesday morning during professional development activities.

Leadership teams from Nampa schools, including principals and teachers, are attending a series of trainings this week focused on developing professional learning communities. PLCs are a process in which educators work collaboratively — in “communities” or focus groups — in efforts to better serve students.

“This is a big step for getting back on track. It’s not about the adults; it’s about the kids. We need to make a big difference in the lives of each kid,” Peterson said.

The district has not undergone a curriculum adoption since 2008 due to financial issues. This fall the district purchased a K-5 English Language Arts adoption.

“We got off track on being clear what we want the students to learn,” Peterson said. “The PLC is teaching us specific ways on how to organize ourselves, getting clear on what we want the kids to do, what proficient looks like and how we will assess it.”

Nick Channer, a fifth grade teacher at Willow Creek Elementary School, is excited to establish a new culture in the schools.

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“It’s okay to live in a framework where we are all in this together, share goals and determine what is best for the kids. We are going to commit to meeting those essential standards,” Channer said.