Boosting teacher retention will mean better student education |

Boosting teacher retention will mean better student education

The Garfield Re-2 District Accountability Committee’s five-year target for the Accreditation/Improvement Goal is to retain at least 90 percent of certified staff, and an annual target of reducing the certified staff turnover rate by 2.5 percent each year for the next five years. What this means to Re-2 parents and students is that more trained, experienced teachers will be in the classrooms who can understand and implement the district’s educational priorities to help students learn in an exciting, engaging environment.In 2001-02 the district had an overall 18.2 percent turnover rate. When disaggregated (unseparated into categories) that turns out to be 11.8 percent, with five retirees and 11.5 new positions of the 241 certified staff positions.In previous years, the turnover figures had not been disaggregated. The figure for 2000-01 was 22.50 percent; in 1999-2000, it was 17.60 percent; and in 1998-99 it was 19.10 percent.The Re-2 School Board had an opportunity to personally meet each new teacher at the New Teacher Reception, held Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the District Office preceding the board meeting. The new teachers also had a chance to mingle with other new teachers and discuss previous districts, housing opportunities, and the long-awaited first day of school. Teachers, administrators and board members were tempted by scrumptious appetizers which were prepared by Rifle’s own Mildred Arnold, who also shared some of her recipes.The Garfield Re-2 Transportation Department’s “Re-2 Freedom Crew” team placed second in the Relay for Life Cancer Walk for the second year in a row. The event was held at the Rifle High School track on July 12 and 13. Sheila, Kenton and Kris Berner, Sharon and Ryan Frickey, Jackie, Ashley and Nick Kneedler, Lynn McConnell, Loree Nigo, Robert Sjogren and Stacey Whaley were members of the team, rounded out by Susan Steckel, who was on the injured reserve list. The Re-2 Transportation Department is a close-knit group, and besides being able to perform a mean pre-trip on a school bus, these drivers can really walk!-Julie Knowles, preschool director at Kathryn Senor Elementary, wants to thank Steve Narvaez and George Shaver, father and grandfather of one of her severe needs students, for going way above and beyond the call of duty to install playground equipment before the first day of school. The playground equipment was ordered specifically for children with disabilities or those who are scared of the bigger playground equipment. The preschool needed someone to install the equipment. Shaver Construction owner George Shaver and office manager Steve Narvaez were the installers, and were helped out by Scott Wright and Deimas Vasquez. The preschool teacher read directions to the volunteer installers, who worked until 9 p.m. the day before school opened, and the new equipment was ready to be used by 86 eager kindergarteners on Tuesday. Forty Kathryn Senor Elementary preschoolers will be able to use their energies on the new equipment when preschool starts on Sept. 4. LaFarge Gravel of Silt donated the cost of shipping the gravel for the installation, and the gravel was provided by Becvarik Brothers. Julie helped the crew by reading the instructions, and said, “This has been a really nice, successful collaboration with the private sector in the interest of our community.” Parents are reminded to check in at building offices and obtaining ID badges as soon as they enter the schools. This procedure is for security purposes.Thursday, Aug. 29, is the date for school pictures for ninth, tenth and eleventh graders at Rifle High School.Re-2 Bond Program Manager Mark DeWolfe gives this update on the progress of Highland Elementary in Rifle. “Excavation and/or site grading started on June 21 and will complete by September 1. Concrete foundations are currently being placed with an expected completion by the first of the month. Interior structural fill of the foundation, under slab plumbing, and electrical rough-in is scheduled to start within the next week.”The overall project is approximately 10 percent complete and is on schedule. With some of the precipitation experienced of late, Shaw Construction is doing an excellent job in mitigating these and other minor delays.The New Castle Superbowl gave a party for Re-2 employees on Friday, Aug. 23. Teachers and staff members celebrated the first week of school with a free game of bowling, and snacks and beverages. What a great sign of support from a true civic-minded business. Thanks so much, Superbowl!There will be no school on Monday, Sept. 2, in observance of Labor Day.Kay Vasilakis is public information officer for Re-2 Schools.

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