Schools look forward in 2014 - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Schools look forward in 2014

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Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 8:45 am | Updated: 4:54 pm, Mon Jan 13, 2014.

The year 2014 offers a clean slate for many and both Kyrene School District (KSD) and Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) plan to make this year better than previous years.

Some problems KSD administrators will tackle is to begin to try and fill-in the gaps or the shortage of qualified teachers in hard to fill positions in areas like math, science, Spanish and special education.

The ability of not finding highly qualified candidates is due to the low level funding from Arizona compared to the nation, making it a difficult task to attract high quality candidates at a teaching and administration level, according to Superintendent Dr. David Schauer and his management team.

Some administration level positions that are a problem to fill are assistant principals, department heads and speech pathologists.

According to a statement from Schauer and his management team: “As those of us in education across the state look forward, we know there are some things we are working on already for the next year.”

Personalizing the learning experience so that every student achieves the qualified standards will also become a continuing focus across the district, where students will be driven towards engaging in the material they are focused on.

This in turn can assist students, especially the first round of students who were retained in third grade due to not passing Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS).

Prop 301 performance pay will also be visited in 2014, where a portion must now be tied to teacher’s individual performance rating at the same time each district uses a new and different evaluation tool, also being addressed by Schauer and his management team.

Though changes will be made in the upcoming 2014 school year, Schauer and his management team will also be reflecting and celebrating the past year and all the accomplishments of their students.

TUHSD will also be looking towards the future in 2014 and will continue to build upon the success and the tradition of excellence they are continuingly establishing, said Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Baca.

“By doing that we try not to remain stagnant, but we try to look forward in terms of the academics,” he said.

Along with keeping success in academia a key component, TUHSD will focus on being responsible when dealing with tax-payers dollars, and preparing students for the Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards (AZCCRS).

“I think for all districts that’s foremost on our mind,” Baca said. “I think what is also on our minds is what will the Legislature do in their attempts to restore funding to schools, so that we don’t have to rely so heavily on our community, rather we can look towards state support for the things that we need.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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