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The Sky 97.3>Audio & Video on Demand>>Marion County School Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier talks about what's ahead for county schools

Marion County School Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier talks about what's ahead for county schools

Feb 7, 2017|

Bob Rose - Feb 7 - 7AM

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Sky 973 dot com. Good morning welcome this 7 minutes after 6 o'clock contact brought to you by Christie's case steelers' Willie answer. He's always just superintendent of Marion County schools hiding marriage joins us. And good morning Heidi how you do on good morning I'm great Mario fantastic and thanks for coming back and visiting with us we appreciate it keep this up to date. We talk about schools just to make sure people know look the schools impact everybody generally we're all paying the taxes that support them and what we've benefitted when the students do well and sometimes we helped pay the price when students don't do well in the independent criminal justice system and in a paying for that as well so we all have a dog in that fight so to speak we all want the schools to be successful. And Marion County schools on is doing a great job in many areas but just like every other school system you've got some challenges right. Oh exactly exactly but the best thing about those challenges that we face and head on it got a great team we've got great teachers and we're all working together to solve these issues. One of the things I size that you suspended some tests in the reason for was to give more instructional time boy that that really makes sense but. How far you go on down that path. As far as winning eight. Bit assessments that we suspended our local assessments that after we analyzed all the data we showed that that they weren't giving us accurate data debt data that drove instruction. So we suspended assessments we didn't need and we are focusing on giving teachers more instructional time and more ability to add to reach those kids. Is there are a lot of duplication when it comes to testing federal testing vs state testing hearses and you know local testing us are are are some of the questions in nerve immaterial isn't actually being duplicated. Well the tests are embargoed so I wouldn't be able to speak directly to what the questions are. But it's on the again we go back to teaching the standards and if we are teaching the standards. Teaching the child teaching them the standards. We are going to be just fine and again that's what we did because for giving these teachers. More time to use their gifts and reach these students. When will you know whether that is. Effective or not I mean but when we you know that this more instructional time is benefiting the child better than and an assessment I mean it makes sense to me I just wondered right I can measure because one of the things you're doing is eliminating the measuring stick. Well not exactly for keeping the measuring sticks that actually gave us data that was about it so. But again the assessments that we suspended but the ones that did not provide us data needed to drive instruction. The state assessment window opens in thirteen days that's when the writing assessment starts so it in the world of state assessment. Mom will be gearing up for that. But again our teachers constantly progress monitor that's what teachers do so we're getting beat back almost daily from teachers and principals. And again we have gone. District based assessments in place to give us those temperature checks that SP. So things are going well in other words this was a good move. I think it was an excellent eye and diet again. When you give teachers more time to use their gifts and their talents at the end result is going to be fantastic. Well educated children. The last time we were on we talked about teacher vacancies and I was scratching my head because I wondered. While I know there's people looking for work and certainly I would think in a teaching field as well. Why it was so difficult to fill these vacancies. An and and why is that why are they difficult to fill. Well let me start I was in good news first when that we took over in November we had 68 teacher vacancies as of yesterday we had a pre. So what we did gas yes civil we didn't. We moved a lot of people from our district office in two teacher vacancy spots are cars stopped who were. Certified. And to com. Were able to we were able to move by the contract in two B slot so we did it so now we're down to just three vacancies. Why are people going to the teaching well look at look at the teaching profession right now on. Where in in most places the culture is not one where you're allowed to teach you know the pay isn't that. Fantastic you don't get into teaching for the pay but that's again what we're changing and Mary caliber teams in the whole climate and are making it. Be best place to work. We touched on assessments as well. You wanna go into more detail on that. I'm a well like I said we suspended the assessments that weren't giving us accurate data. So again that's that allows our teachers to user creativity and their gifts and reach these students were teaching standards and our students are going. Are going to be learning. If I could just stop you there why weren't we getting accurate data. Many reasons that we had an overload of assessments that were not align to the standards. Okay yeah so it's in here it just didn't match up with what. It needed to match up. Exactly exactly and and again you have to look at the value of the assessment vs the time it took to administer mountain. Well especially for the feedback is useless and your rights waisted time Jacqueline and thank. All right what about the state assessments. Again on that assessment windows statewide opens in thirteen days from the writing assessments arts on. We monitor data daily in our district and we are keeping tabs on all of our schools especially are for schools that are. And it and how those schools doing now is there any. Way to know whether you are making progress in those areas right we have on. Our colleagues in the Department of Education to walk throughs frequently and so we we keep up with them and monitor great communication. Is there a disciplined. Situation horror. A cultural issue witty what do you do you think the what would just and I know the state is kind of stepped in and are supposed to be some guidance blood what are they saying. Well they say finally we're listening on so that was that was great progress there are we are able taking their guidance we are being proactive. So that when we. Did so suggestion from them we move quickly on our terms that we don't sit around and wait for them to tell us how to do it. And it sounds good yes. And then you have a major announcement coming up and yes our public information officer Kevin Chris I'll be sending a press release out today so I wanted to just give me a little tease with that but it's a great opportunity for our expanding vocational programs and will be making that announcement today. Well it's a shame we can't talk about it because I think on this show we really went into. Vocational learning and how important it was so yeah. I don't know if that was part of an impetus sir kind of lit a fire but it's a shame that you can't expand on it a little bit on Monday's show and giving him that he is there and gain ground everybody's listening now they're tuned in delaying the and it has to say it exceeded the press release first round I don't work in the news department but. All right what is sure staffing plan for next well first let's start with what you've already done. In terms of staff and what. Again. With this school year staffing plan we worked very hard to fill this teacher vacancies and and because if you're if you don't have trade instructors in front of our kids nothing else matters. So again it's that boots on the ground philosophy we need great instructors we need resources in the schools. Moving forward with our proposal to our school board for next year we have cut fourteen positions in the district office. We hop on asked for a pair professional and every kindergarten class right. And we are also moving resources for our ESE or exceptional student education. Students permitting them from the district office and that the schools that they'll be school based assistance or not only students but teachers to help them with that paperwork that's required. Let's talk a little bit more about moving some people out of those positions thereby cutting them filling teaching. Positions and we'll do in right after this break we're having a great conversation on Marion County school superintendent. Heidi Mair and we're gonna continue that conversation next right here. On news talk 97.3. This guy. Use and talk station. Not a seven point three this John. Together driver brought you by compassion international salute stills and look going to UF held sheds were thirteenth street meets up with the Arturo that it acts of their within about the last half hour or so. See a problem tell us 877 w.'s guide hall. Becoming a child sponsor with compassion international will bring hope to a child poverty fight off Halard deprived and dot com. Four years largest selection of new Chevrolet he's been certified pre owned vehicles called Chevrolet has it all price election and a conservative a Chevrolet dot com finds new roads. Tired of giving in the same old gift for Valentine's Day this year given the best Valentine at iron hand picked strawberries are delicious and made confections and higher seed stocks trim Thornburgh John Glenn. Where everything's leader in the door and Rick John Glenn yeah ET in themselves. Hear about it first welcome. News talk 97.3. Vest gun. 721 on the Bob Rose showtime Jack brought to you by prestige Hayes jeweler to the answer is always yes. We'll take what's bugging you will move to 735 so make sure you call in at that point and we'll deal. Would have brought to buy a Florida pest control over right now we're talking to the superintendent of bank county public schools Heidi mayor and Heidi let's talk about. When the great things that you work you did the staffing plan UConn fourteen up positions there were kind of in the administrative side of it right. And you move them into the classroom. And so what does that include some of those ESE specialist that word county now you've got him actually near the classroom. Well we didn't cut them we moved down from district level and to school based positions so again they can provide more immediate support to teachers and they would have that student contact as well and helping again with all of that paperwork that are idiocy teachers have to do to keep compliant with the law. My house so that that'll be a big help to the teachers and then you've got somebody there that has a level of expertise that and can help if needed on hand and I and I like that. What is a pair up professional. You might think of them as a teacher assistant OK yes yes so anywhere you find forty find those people. We had that down and other areas so we are concentrating them into our kindergarten. Classrooms so that every kindergarten teacher have a pair professional. I mean is that a is that a paid thing gift ever teaching certificate who could do who could be involved in the. There are college level credits required and also attest that they have to take so you get a lot of student Suzanne who fills those positions are not necessarily. We do we do we have a lot of of bomb employees who are working towards their teaching degree are working towards other degrees so we also have people who and that's they found their niche and that's their love. Do you have any people come in on a voluntary basis like parents and saying hey don't like to help in the classroom and is that how's that don't it. We do we do and we value our volunteers on all levels on we know that parent engagement is a key to students' success and we welcome that we also welcome members of the community. Like our veterans and our retirees who won a commandment and and mentor kids and share their gifts as well. The magnet programs that I understand are undergoing some sort of an expansion. We are we are expanding opportunities for our students at two on participate in magnet programs we are also going to be. Expanding. Our moms selection of magnet programs looking at a middle school stem science technology engineering and math. A magnet program. Our magnet programs of that is that sometimes utilized by people who want their kid to go to different schools so they apply for that magnet program. And it makes it easier for them to move to that school. Could but it's also looking to add to what interest that child and where their gifts are mean. It's my belief truly that that all children can learn in the data suggests that supports that that that truly only eaten. One to 2% of students in our school with schools and Florida. Need a special diploma which means they can't reach the expectations of a high school graduate. Still but if we're looking at it that way we also need to move away from that that old fashion way of looking at intelligence as we need to do to value the different modalities that are students happened provide opportunities for them to excel as well unity and IB program. We do we have them into high schools and a middle school and also and one element. OK I mean that still is gonna make. You know that's gonna be a separate sort of school within the school I mean I guess there's not really an he can do about that. Yes and that's a great little look at any school with and they school but is there are a lot of interaction between the I'd be students and the rest of the general population. We encourage that very much so very much. I'm Kent. Well what would you serious still your Bonior biggest challenges ahead. Why I think one of the biggest challenges again on recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers and and we value the teachers that we haven't we want to create an environment where they again. Are able to use their gifts and to Wear us actively seeking on new. Teachers from outside of Florida as well as inside Florida. Yemen on the job that long so. Well would you point to this something you feel like is successful are heading in the right direction that you pretty proud of and in USA and it could be some of the things we talked about. Well I brought this quote with me and it was on one of our on the SE specialist. Had. She volunteered to go from the district office into a self contained class and an elementary school. And she shared this quote from one ever teachers in this is a second grade is C student and they self contained in the self contained class and this child said. I'd like this class I'm learning a lot faster I mean I'm reading sentences when you can do that well that opens up the whole world TO. And I think that just sums it up or making a difference in Marion county public schools allow. Fantastic GAAP and not to mention like you said you've. Cut fourteen positions at the administrative level you but did he didn't necessarily have to let people go we've got there in a classroom teaching. And that would go to your philosophy which is you know putting the students first or more of a student centered system correct. Yep reallocate resources are out. All right and then we look forward to a major announcement that Kevin Christian is gonna give out. It has to do and vocational. Expansion I guess would be the word or act works. All right and now come out later on today about what time yes he said earlier this afternoon. All right well we'll look for that thank you we'll be talking about down a little bit we look forward to having you. On the show again very soon I appreciate the opportunity Selma high superintendent Americana public schools Heidi mayors take you for your time. He but to go to work and now we look forward to next time we get together and for everybody else folks coming up next. What's bugging you a chance to air it out get it off your chest but he left Florida pest control. That's coming up next call us at 877975982. Sides.