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Priority Area IV: Thriving Workforce

Cultivate a work environment that attracts, develops and retains top talent.

Smiling Staff Members

We believe the following high-leverage district actions will help to increase the quality and diversity of our workforce, while elevating the profession of teaching and raising the morale of our teachers and staff. We believe that it is our job to create a work environment that is challenging AND rewarding. When we hold high expectations for all employees and support them in meeting those high expectations, morale increases dramatically. We also need a talented workforce that better represents the diversity of our student population.  Students must be taught by excellent teachers and staff members who are thriving professionally. 

High-leverage Actions:

  1. Overhaul the recruitment, hiring and induction processes for all roles at all levels of the system, with an immediate focus on the process for recruiting, hiring and developing new principals.

  2. Develop a professional learning approach that defines high-quality professional development and provides tools and resources for the design of high-quality professional development at every level. Develop an approach to evaluation that ensures professional development is effective.

  3. Successfully implement new evaluation systems for teachers, principals and central office staff anchored in a common understanding of high-quality, standards-based instruction. Successful implementation will include a coherent, fair, reliable and valid evaluation process that leads to continuous improvement.

  4. Institute a process for building-based problem solving to respond to school-level issues, building on the work that began at Memorial High School in which principal and union representatives worked collaboratively to solve problems at the source.

Launch steps:

    Maria Covarrubias Picture

    Grow Our Own Program

    Maria Covarrubias began her career as a Bilingual Resource Specialist and, through the Grow Our Own Program, is now a teacher at Huegel. She completed her master's degree and also received the Nemec Distinguished Elementary Education Award from the UW Madison Her son Jorge Covarrubias is the Assistant Principal at Kennedy Elementary School. Three of Maria’s five children are now education professionals.
  • Conduct an audit of current recruitment, hiring and induction practices and strategies. This includes examining "grow our own" practices as well as the use of existing and possibly external programs and resources.

  • Develop and establish a principal talent pipeline and improved induction process for new principals.

  • Establish district standards for high-quality professional learning that includes an approach to the evaluation of professional learning.  

  • Incorporate a professional learning plan in the School Improvement Plan. This includes a strong focus on school-based coaches providing job-embedded coaching and professional learning.

  • Recalibrate School Support Teams to provide ongoing differentiated support to schools.

  • Engage a select group of principals and union representatives in the development of a protocol and process for collaborative problem-solving at the school level.

Metrics for Monitoring

  • Increased quality and diversity of applicant pool
  • Increased diversity of hiring
  • Staff retention rate
  • Timely completion of educator evaluations beginning in 2014-15 with the launch of new evaluation system
  • Evaluations of district-level professional development