Ray-Pec boosts hiring for upcoming year
The Raymore-Peculiar School District has budgeted for more than two dozen new full-time equivalent employees for the upcoming school year.
That includes 11 classroom teachers, four positions to expand the early childhood program, six positions for a K-8 therapeutic alternative program and 5.9 support positions.
In his budget message, Superintendent Kari Monsees noted that 2019-2020 is the second full school year under a strategic plan adopted in December 2017 that focuses on “success ready students,” high-quality staff and fiscal responsibility. He said that document led to a request to increase the property tax, which voters approved in April 2018.
“The additional operating funds have been designated to increase student programs and supports (20 percent), improve market competitiveness of staff salaries and benefits (60 percent), and increase investments in ongoing facility maintenance and improvement projects (20 percent),” he wrote.
To that end, the budget includes salary increases averaging 5.6 percent for certified teachers and 6.6 percent for support staff. The district said that pay increases also targeted specific areas, including nurses, to make them more competitive with the market. Also included is a capital outlay of $2 million for facility maintenance and improvements.
Late-start Wednesdays in Pleasant Hill
The Pleasant Hill School District has designated 10 Wednesdays during the upcoming academic year when classes will start 90 minutes later than usual so teachers will have time to work together to improve the quality of instruction and better assist students.
The practice is being instituted for the first time this year.
“This collaboration time will allow our educators to analyze student data and individual student progress, curriculum and assessments to better adjust teaching practices to meet individual needs,” the district said in a news release.
In addition, the district said, educators can share and model consistent, high-quality instructional practices.
Student artwork finds an audience
Three art students from Harrisonville High School painted Wildcat faces in various motifs for a 3-D ceramic wall piece that now hangs in the Harrisonville School District central offices. The art was installed earlier this summer.
The students — Miles Jennings, Ireland Slover and Savannah Meade — created the art while enrolled in the special projects class taught by Becky Bruns. This was the fifth art installation created by special projects classes. The others are displayed at Harrisonville High School.
Learning leadership in Washington
Nine Cass Career Center students attended the Washington Leadership Conference, organized by the National FFA Organization to develop leadership skills in young people.
Michelle Marrs, Jordan Shore, Hannah Dinges, Emily Hedgendeffer, Emma Fischer, Autumn Self, George Frees, Kara Vergouven and Amy Rhodes were exposed to curriculum based on four tenets:
▪ Me: identifying strengths and passions, plus visiting monuments and the Arlington National Cemetery.
▪ We: focusing on diversity and visiting the United States Holocaust Museum.
▪ Do: seeing how advocacy makes a difference at the U.S. Capitol.
▪ Serve: participating in a service project benefiting D.C. residents.
The program, in its 50th year, also took the students to the White House and historic sites.