Charlottesville City Schools staff will spend part of next school year gathering data on how teachers are evaluated, how student performance in math and reading is tracked and the best time of year to conduct a school climate study.

At a meeting Monday to set priorities for next school year, School Board members also asked staff to aim to have 80 percent of division third-graders reading in the state’s top level of proficiency.

Former educator and meeting facilitator Mike Murphy led the discussion, which was aimed at compiling ideas for the coming school year and looking ahead to next year’s review of the division’s strategic plan.

The board asked staff to review data on student achievement and achievement gaps in reading and math to inform quarterly work sessions. Student achievement numbers generally come up early in the calendar year to inform budget decisions.

Board member Adam Hastings said he would like to find a way for the numbers to contain information across grade levels.

“If we are a school division that can have everybody on level for third grade, shoot, I hope we can focus on other grades, too,” he said. “I would like to see some other data indicator at some point on which we can hang our hat.”

Board members agreed that math readiness is more difficult to measure, because data would need to be compiled from sources such as progress of students in a summer intervention program and state measure of academic progress tests.

“There is consensus on what needs to be done. What we still need to figure out is how we get to that point,” Murphy said.

Board member Sherry Kraft asked if statistics about the achievement gap between students could be expanded from simple proficiency to cover higher-level courses.

“At some point, we need to talk more specifically about achievement gap and what that means, because we talk about it all the time,” she said. “When you get to the higher grades, other things get into the picture, like honors classes, more advanced classes. It gets very confusing.”

The board agreed to have staff look at finding ways for teachers to personalize their professional development, rather than have a division-wide, one-size-fits-all program. Board members and staff said they were concerned teachers who need remedial work and those who do not would not find equal benefit in universal professional development.

Superintendent Rosa Atkins said the division plans this fall to implement a system called “micro-credentialing,” which will allow teachers who do not need remedial training to focus on areas that will best serve them.

Administrators will then use classroom visits to study the effectiveness of the program.

“What we have discussed for many years is how can we better personalize the professional development, and that is what we are moving toward this year,” Atkins said. “What we can do then is tie that with our walk-throughs and many of our other instructional strategies that our principals employ now.”

Division staff agreed to compile information on math achievement and professional development during the school year. The data will be used to inform next year’s strategic planning process.

The School Board canceled its meeting scheduled for July 18.