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District 111 restructures several positions for 2013-14

Colyott: The needs of students justifies changes

MINOOKA — The Minooka Community High School District 111 Board of Education accepted on Thursday, Dec. 13, a plan proposed by school administrators that will result in additional services for the students, faculty and families of the school community.

The plan includes the restructuring of two positions this coming spring, and the restructuring and addition of other positions for the 2013-14 school year.

Effective this spring, the district will restructure its two part-time assistant registrar positions into two full-time assistant registrar positions. This restructuring will provide more readily available services, such as registering and enrolling students, establishing district residency and processing requested high school transcripts.

Effective for the 2013-14 school year, the district will add a guidance counselor to the existing team of seven counselors currently split between the two MCHS campuses. This addition will increase the total number of counselors in the district to eight and will help to reduce the student to counselor ratio from approximately 371:1 down to approximately 325:1.

Having eight guidance counselors will allow the district to assign teams of two guidance counselors to each grade level. Under this new structure, each team of counselors will follow the same class of students from their freshman year through graduation. This will afford counselors the ability to work more effectively with students and families to plan four-year course selections and to explore post-secondary educational and work force opportunities.

Also effective for the 2013-14 school year, the district’s six instructional leaders will no longer be assigned teaching responsibilities. Due to the enhanced state requirements for teacher evaluations and the district’s initiative to move to a more research-based evaluation and professional development process, the district has determined the instructional leaders require more time to observe, evaluate and mentor classroom teachers to improve teaching and enhance student learning, all as part of a continuous improvement model.

This change may result in the need for an additional 1.3 teaching positions in the district, with the specific subject areas yet to be determined.

Finally, a head dean position will be created for the 2013-14 school year. The head dean will provide administrative support from within the department and lead important initiatives toward improvement. This change will result in a reduction in the number of deans who carry a student caseload from five to four, but will still allow the necessary time to ensure a safe and secure learning environment, implement proactive disciplinary measures and to continue to connect with students, families and staff.

While these changes come just one year after the district announced an expenditure reduction plan, MCHS District 111 Superintendent James Colyott said that the district’s commitment to maintaining the needs of students as its top priority justifies the changes.

“In February 2012, the board of education approved a $2.1-million dollar expenditure reduction plan so we would be better prepared to weather the current challenge of decreasing revenue coupled with a growing student population,” Colyott said. “The administration continues to carefully monitor the district’s revenue and expenditures to ensure its long-term financial stability.

“We are also obligated to make the most of the district’s resources to ensure that our students are provided quality instruction and the materials and services they need in order to be successful. Just as we said last year when we initially announced the expenditure reduction plan, our students will remain our priority during these fiscally challenging times.”

“The district is excited about the opportunities these transitions present,” MCHS Principal Darcie Kubinski said. “Whenever we are able to improve services for students, families and staff at a minimal cost to the district, we certainly want to make the most of those opportunities.”

“These opportunities position us as a staff to more effectively and efficiently work toward achieving Goal One of the district’s 2010 Strategic Plan,” Kubinski added, “which is to ‘improve the growth and achievement of all students as we prepare them for their post-secondary endeavors.”

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