Home News Local News Oregon Lighthouse Project designed to help school board members boost leadership skills
Oregon Lighthouse Project designed to help school board members boost leadership skills
Lighthouses have been helping navigate ships through ocean waters for more than 2,000 years.
Soon a “lighthouse” of a different nature will be helping prepare La Grande school board members to guide their district over new waters.
The La Grande school board has decided to take part in the Oregon Lighthouse Project, a program designed to raise academic achievement in school districts by helping board members fine-tune their leadership skills.
Through the Oregon Lighthouse Project, school boards are provided with leadership lessons by the Oregon School Boards Association.
The board will be provided with up to 11 lessons or “modules” over the next two years. All will be provided by an Oregon School Boards Association consultant who will come to La Grande.
The $10,000 program will not cost the La Grande School District anything since the complete expense will be paid for by the Oregon Department of Education.
A key reason the school board signed up for the Lighthouse Project is to receive guidance to help it better lead the district’s new Professional Learning Communities program.
Through the Professional Learning Communities program, teachers meet regularly with other faculty at their grade level to discuss student progress. They devise new strategies based on test data to boost student achievement.
The Oregon Lighthouse Project program will help the board guide the teacher program, which started last fall, more effectively, said La Grande School District Superintendent Larry Glaze.
“The instructional training sessions for the board will complement the work we have already done and take us to the next level with (Professional Learning Communities),” Glaze said.
The superintendent noted that the Lighthouse Project will help show the board how it, using student test information, can work with district administrators in setting goals and monitoring student progress so students can reach the objectives set for them.
Merle Comfort, chairman of the La Grande School Board, noted that what board members will learn from the Oregon Lighthouse Project lessons will help the district for years to come.
He anticipates that board members will be passing on what they learn to “the next generation of board members.”
All Oregon Lighthouse lessons will likely be provided at regular La Grande school board meetings and work sessions. Glaze hopes that no additional meetings have to be scheduled to accommodate Lighthouse Project lessons.
The school board will discuss specific plans for becoming involved with the Lighthouse Project when it meets for a work session later this month. Lighthouse Project lessons may begin being provided by the OSBA as early as August.
Glaze emphasized that involvement in the Lighthouse Project does not signal a shift in the school district.
“We are not changing direction, we are building on (Professional Learning Communities) work already completed,’’ Glaze said.