Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Ridder: Our greatest need is teacher retention
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.