From classroom teaching to district administration and superintendencies, Pat Dickson and John Murdoch have spent time at just about every level in the field of education.
"We are seasoned educators," Dickson told the School Board at its meeting Monday. "We've been through all the roles."
Dickson and Murdoch, curriculum management auditors for Phi Delta Kappa International, brought that experience to Steamboat Springs this week for a curriculum management audit of the Steamboat Springs School District.
District officials expect Dickson and Murdoch will provide both the district and the Education Fund Board with a professional and objective insight into how well the 1,900-student school system delivers instruction to students and how that delivery can improve.
In March, the School Board hired Phi Delta Kappa, a Bloomington, Ind.-based professional education association, to conduct the curriculum management audit. Dickson and Murdoch spent Monday and Tuesday visiting district schools and meeting with teachers, administrators, School Board members and others. Today is their last day in Steamboat, but not their last day working on the audit.
Dickson said she and Murdoch will leave Steamboat with suitcases full of documents and other materials detailing the district's operations as they pertain to the teaching and learning of curriculum and any related systems. A final audit report will be completed by June, Dickson said.
School Board member Pat Gleason said the result of the curriculum management audit will be a report helping district officials and the School Board identify areas where money should be spent. The audit also will help the Fund Board decide where its funds can best be put to use.
"So this will put an end to the class-size debate?" School Board member Michael Loomis asked, eliciting laughter from the teachers, administrators and others in attendance at Monday's meeting.
Soda Creek Elementary School Principal Judy Harris said she was concerned the audit won't provide the Fund Board with the information it's looking for. The Fund Board has expressed for several years a desire to measure the success and impact of programs it has funded.
Superintendent Donna Howell said the audit will help guide future Fund Board decisions.
The Fund Board's Educational Excellence and Technology commissions have requested funding to pay for the audit, which will cost an estimated $22,000.
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