Lisbon moving ahead on developing teacher evaluation policy

LISBON – School Superintendent Don Thompson reported at this week’s board meeting they are ahead of most districts in developing a teacher evaluation policy that complies with new state standards.

He said the reason for this is because they are participating in the federal Race to the Top program, and a mandatory component of the program is teacher evaluations.

In other business at the meeting:

– Junior-senior high school Principal Joe Siefke and elementary school Principal Helen Otto reported on the Active Shooter Training seminar recently held for staff. Hosted by law enforcement professionals, the program provides school officials with the latest ideas on how to react if someone with a gun shows up at their building.

Otto said the new trend is to be proactive and try to get students to safety instead of huddling in classrooms. She said they were also instructed on what to look for in a troubled student.

Siefke also sang the praises of the program. “I think I was told twice that it was the best professional development they had every been involved in.” he said.

Thompson said their safety plan is always evolving and being updated as needed to address new challenges.

– The board approved Dana Blackburn as a junior high track team volunteer coach; granted a leave of absence to school aide Elaine DeSellem; and accepted the retirement notices of first-grade teacher Patricia Stewart, part-time health/physical education teacher Connie Beltempo and part-time home economics teacher Debra Whitmore.

– The board decided against renewing the federally funded tutor positions held by Lynn Grove and Kelly House. Thompson said the uncertain future of federal funding for the program forced them to make the decision now, but the positions could be reinstated if the money is available.

– The board agreed to continue a partnership with the Lisbon Police Department for the DARE program that seeks to combat drug and alcohol abuse.

The next regular board meeting is 5 p.m. May 14, although a special meeting/work session is being held at 5 p.m. April 17 to review the district’s finances.