In April 2019, Dr. Reginald Eggleston took the reigns as Superintendent of Unified School District 475. His experience as a school administrator and educator taught him that identifying problems and areas of improvement begins with observation and analysis. He believes this is the first step to laying a foundation for future success and growth for our students.
“We are a good school district, by adjusting a few practices, we can be a great school district,” says Dr. Eggleston.
One of his first acts as Superintendent was to invite the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) into the district to perform a curriculum audit, which is currently ongoing and will continue for the next two years.
Dr. Eggleston believes that the KSDE is a friend and ally in his endeavor to provide the students of the district with the best education and opportunities. KSDE can be encouraging and supportive of these goals while providing the critical and candid feedback needed to improve the programs offered within the district. They have already identified one area of concern, and Dr. Eggleston is working on a plan to remedy it.
Early into their audit, one of the first issues they identified is that there are too many programs and initiatives being used throughout the district, especially in the area of reading programs. It seems that there are multiple reading programs being used throughout the district.
This prevalence of programs creates two problems: a lack of uniformity and an inability to monitor district improvement.
The use of multiple programs makes it difficult to collect data and analyze that data, regarding the effectiveness of these programs. In order to ensure our students are receiving the best education and can compete in a global arena, Dr. Eggleston has already begun the process of vetting a new reading program, which he plans to implement in elementary schools, district-wide, beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
Dr. Eggleston believes that a single reading program will allow for better professional development for teachers, a reduced planning and workload for teachers, better affordability for the district, and – most-importantly – accountability for the district.
Additionally, USD 475 has a high instance of students who move between schools within the district. Implementing a single program district-wide will ensure that these students will be able to consistently use and benefit from the program and it will ensure that they never lose progress or need to catch up.
“Our vision is to be a premier school district, where our students are first.”
To hear more about Dr. Eggleston’s plans for the district, the public is invited to attend the State of Education meeting, held at Junction City Middle School on January 28th. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.USD475.org.