The Green Ridge R-VIII Board of Education has completed its most recent plan for long-term district goals.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires each public school district in the state to develop a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP).

Developed by a committee of administrators, staff, students, parents and community members, the plan outlines the goals and methods used to make decisions throughout the district to ensure the achievement and success of all district students.

Earlier this month, the Green Ridge school board approved its CSIP.

“We are excited that after multiple meetings with a committee made up of staff, board members, and community members we were able to set multiple five-year goals,” Green Ridge Board President Barry White said. “Increasing student achievement is our No. 1 goal.

“We want to work on staff retention and recruitment of the best teachers in the area,” White continued. “Effective communication with the community and continuing our work toward being 1 to 1 on effective technology for all kindergarten through 12 students are also primary goals.”

Superintendent Dr. Jamie Burkhart explained the district has five focus areas where the goals fall in their plan: effective teaching and learning, staff recruitment and retention, leadership for ownership and empowerment, effective communication, and enhanced facilities and innovative learning.

The committee worked with Fired Up Consultants Dr. Kevin Daniel and Dr. Brad Welle who facilitated the process, Burkhart added.

“We are excited that we had so much input from our community who are excited to see our school excel,” White commented. “We had lots of ideas and through multiple meetings were able to formulate what I believe is a very good five-year plan.”

Knowing that student achievement is related to the recruitment and retention of quality staff, that became a focus for the plan, according to Burkhart.

“Regarding staff recruitment and retention our focus statement is as follows: ‘We will recruit and retain exceptional educators and support staff to develop a high level of community in our staff and ensure our students get the highest level of education possible,’” Burkhart said. “A goal that continued to rise to the top was Green Ridge R-VIII School District will study options for increasing teacher recruitment and retention, including a four-day school week.

“Our CSIP Strategic Planning Team continued to discuss how it is difficult to recruit and retain exceptional staff members when the districts surrounding us can pay much more,” Burkhart continued. “We know that our students would benefit academically by continuing to have high-quality staff members applying for positions here and by continuing to retain them. The four day a week offers additional time for professional development, curriculum planning and collaboration among colleagues.”

Burkhart stressed Green Ridge is only in preliminary discussions regarding a four-day week option. 

They are not alone in this consideration. 

A fellow Kaysinger Conference School, the Pettis County R-V (Northwest) School District, is also considering the move to a four-day schedule.

In Tuesday’s edition of the Democrat, learn how both districts are considering the options for a possible move to a four-day schedule and how it may potentially affect the districts and their patrons.

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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