MOLINE – Superintendent Rachel Savage and Moline-Coal Valley School Board members Monday approved staffing priorities for the 2020-2021 school year that will include increasing the number of school counselors.
Savage said her staffing goals for next school year start with maintaining the high quality staff already working for the district.
“To be in the position to keep folks we’ve hired is fantastic,” she said. “I want to make sure we retain them for years to come.”
She said this includes maintaining the eight newly added positions from last year; including a CNC teacher and English teacher at the high school, a middle school counselor, two elementary counselors, and one class-size reduction teacher.
Savage said looking to next school year, the district plans to hire several positions with the goal of more effectively meeting the needs of students.
This includes hiring four new elementary level counselors, which will allow each of the elementary buildings to have a dedicated counselor. An additional counselor hire at the middle school level will mean both middle schools will be served by two counselors each.
Savage said the district has talked for some time about increasing support for social-emotional learning. She said increasing counselors will result in students receiving lessons on social-emotional curriculum in a standardized way and students will learn strategies for navigating life in and outside of school.
Savage said she is excited to meet students’ needs in this way.
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“We’re really, really proud of this,” she said. “... We’ve been hearing it from our principals – we need enough boots on the ground to establish positive working relationships with our students.”
Board members Monday also voted to approve the job descriptions for hiring a director for public relations and communications as well as a “shared” middle school dean.
Board president Sangeetha Rayapati said she is pleased the district has the funds to hire for these positions. She reminded the school board that families continue to ask for teachers at the elementary level to help reduce class sizes. She said it’s important to be mindful of this in future planning.
In other business, board members:
– Took no action following a closed session regarding litigation.
– Approved awarding the bid for the 2020 elementary school structured cabling to Hughes Telephone, Moline. The project cost is $103,746 and is contingent upon federal E-Rate reimbursement.
– Heard from choir director Ben Holmes, who invited community members to join the first Wilson Middle School Community Choir on Jan. 24. Holmes said the aim is to celebrate the diversity of music and develop a deeper understanding of the cultural importance of music.
– Heard from Moline Public Schools Foundation President Debbie Bohman, who introduced the foundation’s new executive director, Kiah Wilson. Wilson, who was hired in early December to replace retired director Jayne O’Brien, is a Moline High School alumna.
– Heard from John Deere Middle School Principal Dusti Adrian, who spoke about the school’s Lights on for Learning program, that now includes drama, reading, gaming and other clubs.