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Galt high school district sets record for new teachers

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Matthew Roberts

“We will continue to improve these scores as the Common Core is implemented, and as the accountability model changes.”

— Matthew Roberts, Superintendent, Galt Joint Union High School District

Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:00 am

The record number of new teachers at Galt Joint Union High School District this school year appear to be settling in. Of the 15 new hires, 13 were for Galt High School alone.

About half of the positions replace six Galt High School teachers who retired at the end of last school year.

The school also had an enrollment increase of about 50 students this year, compared with end-of-year enrollment last spring, according to Superintendent Matthew Roberts, but with the addition of staff, class sizes should not be affected.

Principal Maria Orr, who is working with department chairs to ensure new teachers have the assistance they need as they become familiar with their curriculum, says that the new staff members are a welcome addition.

“The challenges are making sure that we provide our new teachers with the support and guidance they need to be effective in the classroom,” she said.

Many of the new teachers have already been matched up with veteran mentors through the campus’ Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program, she said.

“Many of our new teachers have already stepped forward and are developing connections with our students outside the classroom as coaches or as class advisors,” Orr said.

The district introduced a collaborative teaching model in some core subjects, which provides for a special education teacher to instruct alongside the subject-specific teacher. This also meant additional staff.

“The board is very interested in maintaining a professional teaching core,” Roberts said of the new teachers.

Top priorities under the district’s new strategic plan is recruitment, selection, professional development, training, retention and evaluation, he said.

Liberty Ranch High School, however, is down about 50 students going into the year. Still, there were two teacher replacements hired.

“Overall, we eased class sizes across the district,” he said. “It is nice to see the numbers even out a bit more between the (comprehensive) high schools.”

Estrellita Continuation High School started the year with 162 students, which is the same as at the end of the 2012-13 school year, so new hires were unnecessary, according to Roberts.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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