RCAS Reorganization Information
In an effort to be as supportive, effective, and innovative as possible, Dr. Simon is restructuring the Senior Leadership Team; changing titles, and in some cases position responsibilities. As a direct result of community feedback and concerns from staff, there will be other position and staff changes as part of this reorganization. While Dr. Simon recognizes there are several areas in the RCAS that require reorganization in order for us to better meet the needs of our students and improve as an organization, she needs more time and study to make changes related to how we staff our elementary, middle, and high schools. Therefore, the reorganization will happen in two phases. The first will be in place for the 2017-2018 school-year. Phase II implementation will be in place for the 2018-2019 school-year.
The following is a rundown of the changes you can expect to see in Phase I of the reorganization.
1. The current Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services (Brad Berens) position will now be called the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. The position will be posted this month as Mr. Berens has resigned from his position, effective at the end of the school year. The person hired to serve in this position will focus on developing and supporting our principals as instructional leaders and supporting the work of our schools.
2. Next month, a Student Support Manager position will be posted. This person will work directly under the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Key job responsibilities for this position will be to provide leadership and support for improved school climate, including the implementation of district-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and the development and implementation of an anti-bullying program and interventions district-wide.
3. Valerie Seales’ position, The Coordinator of Staff Development, Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction, will now be called the Director of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation.
4. A Research, Evaluation, and Assessment Manager will be hired and work directly under Director of Strategic Partnerships and College & Career Readiness Melissa Miller Kincart. This is a position that we had at one time in our district that is now being restored to provide us with the data analysis we need to inform decisions at the district and school level.
5. Our Coordinator of Special Education and Services position was vacated at the start of this school year. Todd Christiansen has been serving as the interim director. This Director of Special Services position will be posted this month.
6. Right now our Director of Federal Programs - Title I position is being filled by Dr. Pam Lange through a contract with Black Hills Special Services. This will be an in-house position next year. The Director of Federal Programs position will be posted this month. Our Indian Education Coordinator position will work under our Director of Federal Programs. This leadership position will be called the Title VII Indian Education Manager, and will be posted this month as Jr. Bettelyoun is working under a one-year contract following his retirement last school year.
7. The Public Information (Communications) Manager position will now be called Community Relations Manager.
8. The previous Director of Human Resources position will be restored. This position will be posted next month. In an effort to best serve our staff and our interests as a district, it is necessary, particularly in an organization of our size, to have a director to provide leadership. We must ensure that strong and supportive HR practices and protocols are in place. By being adequately staffed, we will be better able to mitigate staff related issues and improve customer service for our current and prospective employees.
9. Also included in Phase I, is the repurposing of the Instructional Support Teacher position (IST). After hearing an overwhelming amount of feedback from our staff and community about the need for more literacy support and emphasis on reading by 3rd grade, Dr. Simon has decided to restructure the IST position. We currently have 43 full-time employee (FTE) elementary IST positions. The IST positions will be restructured to fund 41 elementary Literacy and Intervention Specialists, one elementary 504 Specialist to manage the elementary 504 plans, and a lead College and Career Counselor. In addition, our Title I buildings principals may hire additional Literacy and Intervention Specialists. Dr. Simon believes that this added focus on strengthening our literacy and intervention work will have a positive impact on our students and ensuring more students are reading by 3rd grade. There will be accountability mechanisms in place to ensure that the work of the professionals serving in the literacy and intervention positions are producing positive outcomes for our students.
10. In order to better provide for the professional development (PD) and support for our licensed teachers and staff, a new calendar and structure for PD based upon the work of the Professional Development Task Force will be put in place for next year. We believe that this will not only better support the professional development of our teachers, but will better meet the needs of our students’ attendance and learning as well as the needs of our families. There will be more communication to follow on this topic as a recommendation is brought by Dr. Simon from the task force to the School Board at the end of the month.
11. There is currently a work group exploring putting art instruction into our elementary schools. As those proposals are brought to Dr. Simon, she will make a recommendation to the School Board by early February. More communication to follow as that recommendation is finalized.
* Please note: There is no reorganization anticipated at the building administrator level.
While the details of Phase II are not complete, it will involve the restructuring of class size ratios at various grade levels, and an overall staffing model that allows us to best serve our students at every stage in their K-12 journey; including the development of college and career pathways for all students to include more rigorous programming such as STEM, increased services for gifted/accelerated students, and other areas identified in our new strategic plan.
Through this restructure, Dr. Simon is able to minimize the creation of new positions and maximize the use of our current resources. Dr. Simon is confident that this leadership model and reorganization will only further support the learning environment in our schools and improve the learning outcomes for our students in our goal to graduate our students with the skills they need for college and career.