Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ridder: Our greatest need is teacher retention

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education approved the first reading of a strategic plan designed to guide the district through the next five years.

The plan addresses many of the problems that multiplied in the district during the years that former Superintendent C. J. Huff and Assistant Superintendent Angie Besendorfer were in charge, including the wholesale departure of teachers, lack of discipline, and a focus that was more on central administration than the classroom.

Interim Superintendent Norm Ridder revealed the plan during Tuesday night's board meeting, saying, "Our greatest need is teacher retention." The problem, Ridder noted, is not salary, though the district fell behind other area schools during the Huff years.

"It's not just the salary; it's the culture." A teacher survey scheduled to begin Thursday will help determine the approach the district takes to addressing the retention problem.

The strategic plan, which was constructed after interviews and surveys with staff, students, and the public, focuses on "student readiness," "learner support," and making education "effective and efficient."

"Everything is focused on the classroom," Ridder said. The plan is geared to providing students with what they need to succeed physically, socially, and academically.

Behavior problems are also addressed.

The most important thing to ensure the plan's success, Ridder said is that everything in it is measurable.

The strategic plan will be placed on the district website. It will come up for its final reading at the Tuesday, March 29, board meeting.


Anonymous said...

I have been very happy about Ridder's inclusion of parent and student voices. I know he talks about teacher empowerment, but parent and student empowerment is important, also. I hope he is serious about protecting instruction time and putting technology in the area of support rather than the main focus of learning. Bring back books! We need them for math and science and English. Homework in the other areas isn't as difficult with the computers, but resources for those required classes would be wonderful, especially for those who don't have the Internet--or want it.

Anonymous said...

I have been impressed with the leadership of Dr. Ridder. He has had many challenges but has apparently placed them in priority to deal with them. The calendar looks good for next year, and the focus on retaining teachers, protecting instructional time, and implementing effective discipline are encouraging. Wonder if he considered a dress code for the high school?

Anonymous said...

High school has a dress code. It is ignored.

How else can you explain the yoga pants, florescent hair color, torn clothing and obscene t shirts.

Sachetta needs to tighten it

Anonymous said...

Most delusional post yet! If there were problems in the district, don't you think we'd hear about it?!?

Oh... wait... sorry, I forgot this wasn't three years ago when people could still afford to have their heads in the sand.

Anonymous said...

Dress code is not enforced for everyone. It is imposed on some but it doesn't seem to be imposed on all--obviously.

Anonymous said...

You can't retain teachers if you keep Doshier.

Anonymous said...

Leaders who can't find funds to keep the teacher salary schedule competitive say it's not about money. Yet these same leaders would not consider working for substandard wages. Let neighboring districts pick our best teachers because they pay more and tell those left behind its not about money. It is a joke. The fact is pay competitively or lose talent! No spin works.

Anonymous said...

The high school has rules about drinking but nobody ever stops it. If your kid is in fusion or play sports they might get away with it. The rest of them won't. Same as dress code.

Anonymous said...

If they can afford to train 67 cognitive coaches they can afford to give the rest of us decent raises, especially since they just increased the amount of work we do. Again. Every year more is added in the workload but nothing is taken away, and we take home less every year. I'm working two jobs. I have to turn in my contract before I'm going to know if I have a decent raise or what my year will look like next year. I'm pretty sure it's not worth waiting around for. I would have gotten teachers more to work with before I would have gotten subs for 67 teachers 8 times a year.