Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The School District of Janesville is Hiring Substitutes

Nationwide, school districts are experiencing substitute shortages.  This has been found to be due, in part, to economic improvement and a lower unemployment rate.  The School District of Janesville is working diligently to serve our students by increasing our substitute numbers.  We are currently hiring both certified and non-certified substitute teachers as well as substitute aides.  We have also sent out a survey to our substitute teacher pool to solicit feedback from them on key items such as how we compare to other districts, what we are doing well, and areas where we can improve.

The following are frequently asked questions regarding substitutes in the School District of Janesville.

Why was the window for applications closed?

The vacancy for Certified Substitute Teachers was opened on WECAN on August 21, 2014 and remains open.  To date, the District has received applications from 40 individuals and sent out hiring paperwork to all who meet District standards.   The District also hires Non-Certified Substitute Teachers (those who have a Bachelor’s Degree in something other than teaching).  This vacancy was posted on September 26, 2014, and is currently open.  Of the applicants to date, 15 have been invited to attend our first training session on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

How does the District promote hiring subs?

Currently, substitute vacancies are posted on the WECAN website (http://services.education.wisc.edu/wecan) and shared through employees managing up the School District of Janesville.  We are also in the process of posting information related to substitute teaching on the electronic sign at the ESC, the SDJ Facebook page, and the main District website.

Why do other districts pay more?

The District is currently in the process of evaluating and reviewing our substitute pay rate as compared to other area districts.  We do not have knowledge of what other school districts’ financials are, therefore, we can’t provide an answer to this question.

Why aren’t some subs getting calls?

There are many different reasons that a sub might not be receiving calls from SubFinder.  Many of our subs have indicated preferences in building or assignment, and will only receive a call if a job meeting their criteria is available.  If you hear from a sub that they are not receiving calls from SubFinder, please direct them to call Mandy Harper at 608-743-5026 immediately, as there are several system settings that may need to be modified in order for them to begin receiving calls.

What can I do to help?

If you know of someone who is interested in working for the School District of Janesville as a substitute, please direct them to apply via the WECAN website (http://services.education.wisc.edu/wecan).   Vacancies can be found in the following areas:

Certified Substitute Teachers – Apply under Certified Staff to Vacancy ID 67303
Substitute Teachers-4 Year Degree – Apply under Support Staff to Vacancy ID 17866
Substitute Aides – Apply under Support Staff to Vacancy ID 17771

If there are questions on where to find the vacancies or how to apply, interested individuals may contact Mandy Harper at aharper@janesville.k12.wi.us or 608-743-5026.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Over $1.3 Million Spent for New or Returning Positions in 2014-15

During the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 school years, administration heard, overwhelmingly, from our schools that bringing back positions that were cut in previous years or adding positions to alleviate others’ workloads was a top priority for employees in our schools.  Not only did administration listen, but we acted upon the concerns of our staff and the board approved our recommendation.  We have added over $1.3 million in new and returning positions for the 2014/2015 school year. Funding these added positions in 2014/2015, required us to utilize revenue which may have been spent on other items in 2013/2014.  It would be fortunate if we had an unlimited amount of money to fund everything we believe to be important, but in reality, that is not the case.  

A question came up recently asking, “Why didn’t the Board approve money for rewards this year?”  Rewards are important, but the priority this year was positions. 

One way to increase our revenue is by increasing our funding sources.  The board was very proactive this year to set a finance goal for 2014/2015 of bringing in additional revenue of at least $3 million for the 2015/2106 school year.  This new funding will be needed not only to maintain the status quo, but also to avoid cuts in expenses and/or short-term borrowing in order to meet our cash flow needs for 2015/2016.  It will take all of us working together creating a culture of excellence and customer service in order for us to reach our goal.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Educator Effectiveness and Professional Performance Structure Update

In 2013-2014, the SDJ piloted the CESA 6 model for the teacher evaluation system referred to as Educator Effectiveness. This system was reviewed and closely monitored with the purpose of being prepared to implement for the 2014-2015 school year. All administrators are now calibrated to evaluate SDJ teachers.

This evaluation system is aligned to the six performance standards;
  • Professional Knowledge
  • Instructional Planning
  • Instructional Delivery
  • Assessment For and Of Learning
  • Learning Environment
  • Professionalism

The goal was to have the evaluation system in place and on a sound foundation prior to implementing a new salary structure.

During the 2013-2014 school year Dr. Schulte and Dr. Sperry attending several schools to listen to staff members speak on topics such as ACA, ACT 10, compensation, benefits, Rewards, district finances, and salary.

It was during the 2013-2014 school year building visits that staff was informed that a draft of the new SDJ Professional Performance Structure would be developed no later than October, 2014. That draft was completed on time.  In addition, during the building meetings, teachers shared an interest in being part of a team to review and discuss the draft PPS.

It was through these meetings that an ad hoc team was created. The team members include: Bob Getka, Lisa Plewa, Dustin Shevy, Mindy Remley, Rob Connor, Carrie Wyatt, Chris Kohn, Christine Pumillia, Fritz Elsen and Shawn Galvin.

The team has met two times and discussed openly the pros and cons of the draft. The team will continue to meet and discuss up until early December, when “Meet and Confer” sessions will take place for employees to understand the new structure. Prior to Meet and Confer, the Personnel, Policy Curriculum committee will be presented with information on Educator Effectiveness and Professional Performance Structure since both are linked together and will directly affect student achievement.