Rush City CE Jacobson sixth grade teacher and Q Comp Program contact Mary Kurvers presented the 2018-2019 Q Comp annual report to the Rush City School Board during its June 20 meeting.

The Quality Compensation law was enacted through a bipartisan agreement in the Minnesota Legislature in 2005. It is a voluntary program that allows local districts and exclusive representatives of the teachers to design and collectively bargain a plan that meets the four components of the law: career advancement options, job-embedded professional development, teacher evaluation, performance pay and alternate salary schedule.

“We went through and looked at what parts of our program are working well and where we need to make changes,” Kurvers said. “We’ve been doing this for three years now, so we’ve had a good look at what’s working and what’s not working to figure out what we need to do.”

According to the report, the work of teacher leaders through coaching, observing, mentoring, facilitating learning teams and performing other responsibilities impacted classroom instruction by a peer coach spending extra time with a teacher, and improvement was noted, verbal feedback is more purposeful and helpful than written scores. There was good feedback from many teachers for PLCs, or professional learning communities, about sharing ideas and instructional challenges, but that was not true for all groups. Also, some PLCs are challenging with not enough common ground in some instructional areas.

“There were 58 teachers that participated this year, which is down a little bit from previous years. Part of that is we had one long-term sub that didn’t participate,” Kurvers said. “Next year, we plan on having 62 teachers on staff that will participate.”

According to the report, five mentors worked with 14 teachers throughout the school year; their mentorship was found to be supportive of classroom instruction and student achievement.

Next year there will be 16 teachers who will receive mentor services, with eight teachers at the high school and eight teachers at C.E. Jacobson Elementary.

“For student achievement goals, 12 teachers did not meet their goals, but a lot of them are reaching up higher, including a few grade levels that had tried assessments that they’ve never done before,” Kurvers said. “That’s one area we’re going to look at very closely in the fall with exactly what goals we want to set. We want to be stretching, but we also want to be based on good decisions.”

Kurvers said 57 out of 58 teachers completed and submitted the student achievement goals form with 46 teachers meeting those goals, which is 79%.

One recommendation Kurvers said they are proposing on making a change is with the peer coaching model by adding an instructional coach. According to the report, adding an instructional coach will refine the peer review process to be more efficient and effective. Also, it could improve the plan with a focus on improving classroom instruction and student achievement.

School Board Chair Stefanie Folkema thanked Kurvers and her team for all the time they spent in putting together the Q Comp report.

“I’d like to also thank Mary and her crew,” Superintendent William Campbell said. “There was a lot of time spent on this and a lot of thought put behind this. You did a great job.”

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