Clayton Ridge embraces change for 2016-17 year

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

Submitted by Shane Wahls

Superintendent/5-8 principal

As Clayton Ridge continues to make progress toward district goals, change seems inevitable.  In a time of fiscal pressure and declining enrollment, there will be several changes the school board, staff and students will face during the next school year.  When thinking about the changes for next year, I am reminded of the following quote: “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” (Rachel Wolchin) Although change can have its challenges, I believe that our stakeholders will embrace these changes and we will continue to make progress towards our district goals.  

One exciting change for next year is that we have developed a partnership with the Central Community School District and have created a common calendar that both districts will share.  The most significant difference to note is that our early dismissals will change from Wednesdays to Fridays. These Friday dismissals will be at 2 p.m. and will continue to allow our staff to meet in Professional Learning Communities to analyze student data and make the appropriate instructional decisions that best meet the needs of all students. Also, this calendar allows both districts to align our bell schedules so that we can share high school courses. Both districts have agreed to start “small” and plan to share two courses each semester in order to ensure success. This will provide Clayton Ridge and Central students opportunities to earn dual credits, as the courses offered in this solution are considered college level courses as well. Clayton Ridge will offer two Industrial Technology courses and Central will offer two Family Consumer Science courses.

Another challenge this district faces is finding a solution to balance the budget while maintaining the essential educational programs we currently offer. With retirements and resignations in all departments, including transportation, food service, general education and special education, we are fortunate that most reductions will occur through these resignations and retirements. Part of this process involves grade level restructuring so that we can better serve students with the staff that have the appropriate certifications and at the same time maintain our Response To Intervention (RTI) programs that are designed to meet the needs of all learners. Wayne Callender, a national education consultant who has been working with our district for the past three years, met with administration, guidance counselors and teachers to create building schedules that best utilize our number one resource, teachers.  These schedules will require moving 4th grade to the middle school in Garnavillo and 8th grade to the high school in Guttenberg for the 2016-17 school year.  This form of grade level restructuring will allow the district to focus on the following:

1. A two-section quality preschool program 

2. Early literacy implementation (grades PK-3)

3. State law regarding third grade retention effective in 2016-17

4. Maintaining two core reading and math programs in grades K-8

4. Maintaining RTI interventions in reading and math in grades PK-12

5. Continuing to offer required courses for graduation in grades 9-12

6. Balancing the budget for 2016-17

The last significant change for Clayton Ridge is to implement the state Teacher Leadership Compensation Grant. Clayton Ridge will receive funds to establish three types of leadership positions, including Mentor Teachers, Instructional Leaders, and PLC Strategists. As part of our TLC Plan, we will have one Mentor Teacher for grades PK-7 and one Mentor Teacher for grades 8-12.  The Mentor Teachers will provide guidance to new teachers in the district to help establish their success in order to receive a Standard Teaching License. There will be one Instructional Leader assigned to each building. Instructional Leaders will provide peer coaching, technology integration, curriculum leadership and professional development to all teachers. PLC strategists will lead team meetings, collect and analyze student data and lead team decision-making in regards to student learning and instructional strategies. We are excited about the potential for these positions and how they will greatly enhance the educational programs and student learning at Clayton Ridge.

With the continued commitment of all stakeholders, the school community can expect that these changes will provide more educational opportunities, more purposeful instruction and increased student achievement.  As another superintendent once said, “It can be something marvelous, or we can pick it apart and be afraid!” Today, like every day, is a great day to be an Eagle!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet