Sunday Evening News: Comprehensive Program Review

November 20, 2005

By Mike Nelson

Do you know what these three words are about? As a classroom teacher and even as a principal, I was not familiar with these words. Have I read things in the paper about school districts not doing things correctly in their various programs or with state & federal funds? Absolutely...but I didn't connect that to the Comprehensive Program Review.

Last Friday the Enumclaw School District had its Comprehensive Program Review. (This occurs every 3-4 years.) A team from OSPI comes to the district to review all our state and federal programs (examples: Title One, Two, Four, Five, LAP, Carl Perkins, etc!) They look for all of the state and federal mandates within each of these programs. They look for things as small as homeless informational posters in each school and drug-free zone signs at the entrance of each school to as large as how we organize and implement our entire Title One and LAP programs!

During the visit the OPSI team meets with the people in charge of these state and federal programs and then travels to the schools. They carry with them a notebook full of "yes/no" items that they are looking for evidences of their existence. At the end of their visit they give us their report. Their report consists of "commendations" and "compliance" issues. Our school district received NO compliance issues and only received a generous list of commendations! The following is a list of commendations that the Comprehensive Program Review Team left with us on Friday afternoon.

The district is to be commended for its excellent CTE program that provides ongoing career exploration, a wide variety of course offerings that reflect both contemporary and emerging career opportunities, in addition to work-based learning options.

The district is to be commended for the quality of leadership, which includes an articulate and knowledgeable instructional and administrative staff. They know what is happening in the district, community and classrooms. Trust is evident.

The district is to be commended for its intentional use of data for analysis to improve and inform instruction. The use of student data is widespread and exceptional.

The district is to be commended for the way in which it honors and celebrates student work as noted in ALL buildings and district office.

The district is to be commended for its focus on collaboration and team planning time allowing teachers to work together and in specialized content areas to review student data and needs and to develop strategies for student success.

The district is to be commended for its focus on personalization of student learning, including structures such as small schools and teaming.

The district is to be commended for such projects as the Veterans' Day flag at Sunrise. This school wide project provided students with a personal connection to the true meaning and history of Veterans' Day.

The district is to be especially commended for the way in which it has aligned the Title One and LAP programs across the district to achieve consistency.

Many thanks to all who were directly involved in the Consolidated Program Review process. This is a huge celebration for our entire system!!!