Onalaska ISD Hires New Principal and Superintendent, ONALASKA, April 2, 2019 - Trustees finalized the hiring process for new school superintendent Anthony Roberts last Thursday night. This brought to close a process that started last September when former ISD superintendent Lynn Redden was forced to resign after comments he made online about Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson gained national attention and backlash from both district parents and teachers. Roberts who has been with the District for the past 13 years starting out as a junior high science teacher and steadily working his way up to Junior High and High School principal for the last 4 years. Trustees also formally hired Robyn Thornton as the new Junior High and High School Principal to replace Roberts, Thornton currently works for Onalaska ISD as the Director of curriculum, special programs and instruction. Both Roberts and Thornton will be officially starting fulltime in their new roles on June 1st of this year. The Trustees also approved several consent items pertaining to tax reports, budget amendments, and TEKS Certification. In addition, the board voted to approve a service agreement with Weaver and Tidwell to provide audit services for the year ended Aug. 31, 2019. The board also reviewed and approved the 2019/2020 school year calendar. The Elementary School Principal David Murphy informed trustees that the 3rd Nine Weeks Report Cards were sent home on Wednesday, March 20th, that 120 students in 2nd - 6th Grade enjoyed the Accelerated Reading Party for meeting their goal for the 3rd reporting period. Students completed Mock Testing the Week of March 18th for 3rd, 4th and 6th Grade Math and Reading, and 5th Grade Science. Some after school tutorials began on March 26th for 3rd - 6th grades Monday - Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:00pm. On Friday, April 5th Students will participate in a STAAR Pep Rally for 4th Graders and 5th Graders who will be taking their 1st Round of STAAR Testing the week of April 8th. Monday, March 25th the Elementary Campus Improvement Committee met to rate the 3rd Quarter Progress on Campus Improvement Plans and to conduct the Annual Campus Needs Assessment. Anthony Roberts, principal at the Jr.-Sr. High School campus, reported that on March 6th, Administrators and Region 6 Specialists conducted Instructional Rounds to assess the implementation of strategies that addressed the action areas identified in the School Performance Review. Noted was improved instruction that included more frequent formative assessments, increase rigor and student engagement. Transportation provided after-school tutorials for English I, English II, 7th Grade Writing, 8th Grade Math, and 8th Grade Reading and are averaging between 40 and 50 students per day. The Junior High School hosted a Pizza, Parents, and Passing the STAAR event on Wednesday the 20th. Approximately 150 people attended the event that included discussing resources that parents could partner with their students to practice for the upcoming STAAR/EOC tests, and provided testing tips and calendar dates for STAAR testing. Roberts reported that across the board, mock testing for 2018-19 is showing marked improvement over the same testing in 2017-18. State testing for 7th grade Writing, 8th Reading and Math, and English I and II will be April 9th through the 12th. The Onalaska Wildcat Band and Choir will be hosting a concert on April 3rd. The JR Class is hosting a ragball tournament to raise funds for Prom on April 6th. STUCO will be attending the State Conference on April 14th-16th in Arlington TX. The Prom will be on April 27th at Pearls in the Pines. Roberts also sent congratulations to the Onalaska JROTC and 1SG Garcia for the 2nd place win at the recent Livingston JROTC competition. After a closed-door executive session, the Board also voted to accept all the administrations pending contracts and teachers’ resignations from Michelle Coffman, Jacey Updegrove, Schalaine Ellisor, Vickie Nelson and Diane Cass. The next Board meeting is set for April 15, at 6:00 p.m.
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