By Nok-Noi Hauger
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter
To receive the Proposition 301 performance pay, local teachers had to meet district, behavioral and academic goals.
This year the staff did just that, so the Williams Unified School District Governing Board approved their performance pay at the June 26 board meeting.
Natalie Mann, kindergarten teacher, explains to the Williams Unified School District Governing Board how and why the Williams Elementary/Middle School staff earned the last portion of their 301 payment.
Proposition 301, passed by voters in November 2000, increased the sales tax from 5 percent to 5.6 percent in January and was expected to bring an estimated $445 million into the state. Roughly 59 percent of this money will be used for a classroom site fund, which in Williams, is broken down into 40 percent for performance pay, 20 percent for base compensation increases for teachers and 40 percent for teacher’s salaries.
The overall district improvement goal was to increase parental involvement.
“We used PowerSchool and a parent survey to determine this,” said Natalie Mann, kindergarten teacher for Williams Elementary/Middle School. “We had an average number of 10 (PowerSchool) accesses a day.
“The survey dealt with the disciplined school involvement plan,” she said.
The student behavioral component at Williams High School was improving attendance and reducing tardies. At the elementary/middle school, it was reducing referrals.
“We had a goal of reducing referrals by 30 percent,” Mann said. “We ended up decreasing those by 43 percent.”
An additional counselor, an intervention specialist from Coconino County and having an assistant principal all contributed to the reduced numbers, said Mann.
The academic objective for both schools was to develop a baseline of student achievement so academic development can be followed in the future.
To do this, the school collected and analyzed data, from Stanford 9 and AIMS (Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards) scores, assessed staff development, combined resources and develop a document that shows the school alignment with the Arizona State Standards.
For WHS, each teacher at the school diagramed exactly what students are expected to learn from their classes and came up with a way to evaluate the students’ progress.
“We had some small gains in math and reading and a small decline in language arts,” said Joan Hughes, assistant principal, about Stanford 9 results.
These numbers will be used next year to see if students improved.
The projected 301 revenues, back in May, were $214,000. However, because of the state budget deficit, the school district expected to receive less. When the district learned this news it decided the teachers deserved the full third bucket.
“We did take money from other sources to augment what the state left out, about $30,000, so that we could fully fund it,” said Jac Heiss, former superintendent for the district.
The district has received more than $200,000.
“I’m still waiting for another payment,” said Renee Rodriguez, business manager for the district. “The last installment is due later this month. So far we’ve received $204,338.”