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South teachers receive high marks

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NEW MARKET — Teachers are receiving high marks at South Montgomery schools, preliminary state evaluation results show.

The ratings for last school year were presented to school board trustees Monday, as districts await the release of ILEARN test scores factoring into the final results. 

Of the district’s 115 teachers, 89 were deemed effective based on the state’s measures, representing more than three-quarters of the staff, according to the initial figures.

Teachers are rated according to their performance in the classroom and student academic progress.

Another 23 teachers received highly effective scores. Improvement was determined necessary for three teachers. None were rated ineffective.

Results from the ILEARN, which replaced the ISTEP+ last spring, will be calculated into student progress rates. The results are expected to be released to the public next month.

“When we have the data, as we’ve said each year, you will see some additional highly effective [teachers],” superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner told board trustees. No teachers are expected to slip in the ratings based on student testing results, he added.

In other business, the district announced it would save more than $61,476 in state-mandated reductions to the teacher retirement fund.

“The intent is that will be used to help support teacher salaries as part of the [contract] negotiations this year,” board president Brad Monts said.

A new law requires a reduction in contributions to the fund by 2% to 8-1/2% for teachers hired after 1996. No one spoke during a public hearing on the issue.

Other newly-mandated hearings were held for public input on upcoming employee contract negotiations, which begin next month, and on a recent state law governing school bus routes on state and federal highways.

No elementary school students currently live on a route requiring them to cross the highway in front of the bus, transportation director Eric Brewer said. Brewer said the district would continue monitoring the routes as families move in and out of the district.

In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of Cindy Bannon as high school business teacher for the school year. Bannon had retired last spring. The board also approved a medical leave request for high school counselor Mary Scheidler beginning Sept. 9 for four weeks.

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