By: Melanie Williamson
Each year, the Vermilion Local Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin reviews his goals from the past year to see what was accomplished and sets new goals for the coming year. This is used as a means of evaluation, as well as a way to see where improvements can be made.
At the Wednesday, July 26, school board meeting Pempin reviewed his goals from the previous year, which included academic performance, staff development, communication, campus safety, and innovation growth.
When reviewing these goals, Pempin shared that over the last year, they implemented Writing Across the Curriculum throughout the district, which is intended to strengthen writing skills for all students. He also participated in monthly meetings with the district leadership team to ensure monthly objectives are being met at all grade levels.
The district continues to grow professional development opportunities for teachers and staff. Pempin has also maintained positive communication through a variety of means, as well as actively participated in a number of community groups and initiatives.
Pempin also reported that the district continues to review and revise safety plans and procedures, which included an increase in mandatory drills at each building. They also upgraded the lighting in the stadium parking lot and made upgrades to the Sailorway music room and storage areas in all the buildings.
Finally, he shared that within growth, open enrollment numbers are positive, which means there are more students coming into the district through open enrollment than leaving.
In looking towards the new year, Pempin proposed several new goals, which were presented to the board on Monday, August 14, for consideration. These proposed goals included using benchmark assessments to evaluate writing skills across the district, and attaining 100% graduation rate. Pempin stated that the 100% graduation rate is challenging due to the variety of issues they work through with the students, but that will always be the district’s goal.
In regards to safety, Pempin proposed they work on upgrading and changing camera placement, which would include adding more cameras at Sailorway and Vermilion High School as needed.
He also wants to look at ways to better market the district. With open enrollment numbers up, he wants to keep the momentum moving forward. While he wasn’t clear on exactly what this would entail, he wants to evaluate their options and come up with a plan. He shared that while interviewing new staff over the summer, several commented on how much they learned about the district through videos posted on the website. Pempin suggested this is one area they can focus on in improving the online presence of the district.
With these being proposed goals, they will be discussed more extensively going forward and decided at a future school board meeting.