School site councils, a ninth-grade academy and career education program are among Belen School Superinten-dent Don Duran’s goals for the next two years.

With one year as superintendent under his belt, Duran said he is pleased with many things in the district.

“It seems to me that we have a lot of concrete things in place here,” Duran said. “We have a community that is rich in its pride in who they are. They have a great pride in their schools and their children.

“We have principals and administrators in place that are extremely capable, extremely knowledgeable and skillful. They have been waiting for direction.

“The school board is committed to getting the best education for the children in Belen,” he said.

With this background, Duran said, he and the school board have developed goals they want to accomplish during the next two years.

“We developed five goals. None is of greater importance than the other,” he said. “They will be what the board evaluates me on at the end of my contract. The goals will be completed or well on their way by June 30, 2004.

Duran said the goals are:

  • School site councils

Schools will implement site councils using the Baldrige process to focus their work around increasing student achievement through equitable and equal access to the general curriculum.

  • Literacy

Every school site will implement a balanced approach to literacy. Development of a balanced approach to literacy will include professional development around literacy that includes listening, speaking, reading and writing.

It includes math literacy that provides meaningful student engagement and hands on learning at all levels.

Each site will develop a written literacy plan that is standards-based.

There will be equitable access to regular education opportunities for all students.

Educational resources will be aligned to support the literacy plans.

  • Career education

Belen High School will form a task force that will develop a research-based, written plan for implementation of a ninth-grade academy that will help students transition from ninth grade to high school.

The academy will be made up of small learning communities with teacher teams. Adult mentoring will be given, including guidance and counseling, Duran said.

The curriculum will have common expectations for students in career clusters and pathways.

The program will include student leadership development.

Components of the plan will include community involvement and partnerships, professional development for teachers and alignment with state standards for content and national industry standards for skills.

  • Safe schools

The Belen School District will develop and implement an individual school site research-based, safe-school plan that is aligned with state requirements.

  • Facilities management

The Belen School District will develop a facilities master plan that will provide base-line data on technology and building use based on an audit analysis.

Each school will have a plan on file for review. The staff will be able to communicate the facilities master plan priorities.

The base-line data will be used to prioritize the district’s technology and building needs for student growth and for seeking funds through bonds and mil levy elections, capital outlay grants and legislative requests.

The warehouse, food services and maintenance departments will be trained in the Baldrige process as well.

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Jane Moorman