Stout makes move to central office PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 00:00

Daily Leader photo/Jessica Crawford
Jill Stout settles into her new position as Director of Data and
Testing in the basement of the central office building. Stout’s new
position was made official during a late December board meeting.
However, she feels Jan. 5, the day students and educators returned
from their Christmas vacation, was truly her first day on the job.

By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader

Prior to the doors of USD No. 480 closing for the excitement of
Christmas break, former Sunflower Intermediate Principal Jill Stout
had some excitement of her own – in the form of a new position at
central office.
As the Director of Data and Testing, Stout is aiding the education
students in a different way in the career she dearly loves – an
educator.
“I went through an interview process this summer,” Stout explained.
“There was a committee that the district put together and they had
interviewed several people.”
Director of data and testing is a new position that USD 480
administrators have been kicking around for some time now.
“It kind of just evolved from that interview process,” she said.
“Over a course of time, the board had decided that now was the time
that they thought they were ready to start the position.”
According to Stout, the title of the position speaks for itself.
However, there will be a mixture of duties involved in her new position.
“I will be doing some things with Lana (Evans) as far as curriculum
goes and my part is going to be more of the crunching of numbers,”
she said. “I will be looking at the data. What does it tell us?
Where do we need to make improvements? Where are our strengths and
how do we utilize the strengths that we have to assist in other
areas? Where do we get more information or do more research to get
more staff development for teachers if that is necessary? Just
whatever need would arise depending on what our data tells us.”
With modern technology, it is much easier to compile very specific
data rather quickly. Stout will be using that data in a variety of
ways in order to better serve students with specific needs in
specific areas.
“We are in a technology age where there is a ton of information out
there to help our kids in a lot of different ways,” she said. “This
will give us a lot of ways to utilize that testing information to
help student improvement and that is what we want to do, we want to
bring it to the student level. What does each student need and how
are we going to address those needs?”
Working together throughout the district will be imperative for
Stout’s efforts to be successful. Administrators, principals and
teachers must remain a team to better serve the students of USD 480.
“It will take a big collaboration effort between the central office,
principals and then principals with teachers,” she said. “It is going
to take one big working unit – everybody.”
The testing aspect of Stout’s position will be preparing students
individually for state assessment testing or MAP assessments.
“The MAP assessment is the assessment we use to give us projections
on how the students will perform on the state assessments,” she said.
“So we can get that MAP assessment, look at that data and say, ‘OK,
where are we, where do we need to be by the time the assessment
window opens and they take the state assessment.’ That’s the heart of
it.”
When data and testing Stout evaluates indicates a certain student or
a group of students to be having problems in a certain area, there
are avenues that can be taken in order to better prepare students
with the knowledge needed for testing.
“What we will do, once we have all of this information, is we will
meet with the principals and talk to them about where they are and
where their building is,” she explained. “You can look at it by
class, you can look at it by grade level or you can look at it
individually so we will use that information to determine what we
need to do.”
Although Stout’s new position became official during the last board
meeting in December, she officially began aiming all of her attention
to her new job on Jan. 5.
Stout enjoys her new position and feels Sunflower Intermediate has
been left in excellent hands. Her assistant principal Sheri King has
stepped up to assume the role of principal. Jason McAfee, former
history teacher for South Middle School, was named assistant
principal at Monday evening’s school board meeting.
So far Stout loves her new position, however, she said it was odd to
come back after the Christmas break to an office that students
weren’t running in and out of. As much as she dearly misses them in
her life on a day to day basis, she knows she is still an active part
in the course of their education – just in a different way.
 
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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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