When it comes to compensating its educators in the future, the Redwood Area School District has opted to move in a new direction: Quality Compensation (Q-Comp), which encourages school districts to think outside of the box as it improves its educational programming, leadership advancement and teacher compensation.
When it comes to compensating its educators in the future, the Redwood Area School District has opted to move in a new direction via a program offered by the Minnesota Department of Education. Called Quality Compen-sation (Q-Comp), the program encourages school districts to think outside of the box as it strives to improve its educational programming, leadership advancement and teacher compensation. The Q-Comp program has been available to school districts for a number of years, and as funding for the program began to dwindle, districts started to take a closer look at it as an option. Those interested in the program must put together a plan that outlines specific goals to accomplish, and that plan is included in an application submitted to the state education department. During this past summer, a 12-member committee, made up of educators and administrators, worked to-gether to prepare a Q-Comp plan that was approved for submission by the board of education after receiving preliminary authorization from the local teachers union. The district received word in late February from the state department of education that its application had been approved. A final vote by the teachers union held March 11 moved the proposal back to the school board for final approval. The teachers voted to move forward with the Q-Comp plan 85-4. During its meeting this past Monday members of the school board unanimously adopted the Q-Comp plan, which now means the district can move forward with planning as it gets ready to implement the Q-Comp plan for the 2014-15 school year. The plan is going to focus on literacy from Kindergart-en through Grade 12.
According to Darcy Josephson, RASD director of teaching and learning, who has discussed the Q-Comp plan at several school board meetings, the decision to focus on literacy makes it a priority for the school districtwide. During its meeting the school board emphasized that priority by approving the purchase of a new reading curriculum at a cost of $95,000. Un-reserved and unassigned fund balance money is going to be used to purchase that curriculum. As part of the Q-Comp program, the components re-quired that the district must fulfill include: • Career advancement options, including the use of peer evaluators and a new teacher mentoring program • The establishment of an advisory board • The establishment of professional learning communities and program leaders • The implementation of job-imbedded professional development to improve instructional skills and learning aligned with student needs • Teacher observation and evaluation • Performance pay, based on student academic achievement and progress • An alternative salary schedule. According to Rick Ellingworth, RASD sup-erintendent, the school receives funding from the state for these added components, adding it makes sense to do this, because so much of it is already being done at RASD.