RC teachers present new evaluation plan

A group of Rush City teachers have created an evaluation plan that falls in line with a state mandate while supporting district staff in developing their skills as educators.

The Rush City School Board on March 20 received a first-hand look at the Rush City Schools Teacher Evaluation Plan, which must be implemented by the 2014-15 school year. Board members, who appeared to like the proposal, anticipate revisiting the plan once it’s presented to all of the teachers districtwide.

At issue, the state Legislature passed new requirements for statewide teacher development and evaluation during the 2013 legislative session. Under the new requirements, all public school districts across the state must have a plan that complies with statute by next fall.

In Rush City, the plan must be approved by both the School Board and the Rush City Education Association.

Technology specialist Mary Kurvers, teachers and high school principal Brent Stavig provided a summary of the teacher evaluation process. It includes setting and monitoring goals for teacher growth and student achievement, a peer review process, a student engagement piece and a mentorship program.

It was noted that non-tenured teachers will be observed by an administrator at least three times each year, while tenured teachers will be observed by an administrator at least once every three years. All teachers will be observed through the peer review process once a year.

Revised budget

In review of proposed changes to the 2013-14 budget, the board approved a revised budget, reflecting an increase in General Fund revenue of $86,000 and an increase in General Fund expenditures of $234,000.

The revised budget includes additional expenses of $157,000 in compensation increases, $30,000 for a van, $50,000 for additional substitute costs, $15,000 for snow removal, $15,000 for heating gas and about $32,000 for additional paraprofessionals.

The revised budget shows a General Fund deficit of $819,252, which will decrease fund balances.

In other news, the board:

• Approved a fundraiser for the Rush City High School girls softball team. Team members and the coach will be busing tables and helping out with other duties from 4-7 p.m. Monday, March 31, at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in North Branch.

• Authorized district participation in a wellness pilot program hosted by the Resource Training and Solutions Wellness Alliance. Employees will be able to voluntarily participate in the program this spring and receive incentives for participation as paid by the Alliance.

• Ratified Teamster Local 320 labor agreements for Food Service employees, paraprofessionals and custodians for 2013-15.

• Approved compensation and benefits for clerical and office assistant and others (on schedules), transportation staff and other district personnel (not on schedules) for 2013-15.

• Approved the retirement of Spanish teacher LeeAnn Anderson, effective May 30.

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