Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert updated the Warsaw School Board about a teachers contract between Warsaw Community Schools administration and the Warsaw Community Education Association Tuesday.
He said the WCEA ratified their portion of the contract Monday. The school board will be asked to approve the contract on Oct. 23. The school board will also have a public hearing for the contract at 7:30 a.m. Friday at the administration building.
The contract includes salary increases. There will be an increase of $2,200 on the base salary for first-year teachers. The starting salary for first-year teachers is $45,800. For year two, the increase would be a $1,500 increase, making the starting salary $47,500. There were also some extracurricular changes and to coaches’ salaries.
Hoffert said the starting salary for teachers has risen over $10,000 over the last five years, which he said was amazing.
He said the contract took a lot of collaboration and the adminstration and board should be pleased with it.
Earlier in the meeting, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dani Barkey updated the board about the school corporation’s early literacy program.
Barkey said the school corporation is already seeing great metrics with the program.
In a video shown, Hillary Stouder, instructional coach at Lincoln Elementary, said students have to have the foundational skills to be literate.
Barkey said they are learning there is a fall-off rate starting in third grade for literacy because, at first, a lot of students rely on memorized words. Starting at third grade, students aren’t able to continue doing that.
Stouder, in the video, said through the programs that are used - UFLI and Haggerty - WCS is seeing a benefit for students’ literacy.
Barkey said there is a literacy interventionist in each school building in the school corporation.
Rachel Sudhoff, interventionist at Harrison Elementary School, said in a video said a WCS intervention team has designed the best possible intervention framework for students. It includes instruction, decoding and comprehension. There are also assessments to determine reading difficulties and skill-based interventions to help with the literacy gap.
Barkey said part of the program is teaching students how to form words with their mouths.
Barkey said the school corporation’s goal is to increase early literacy so by the end of third grade, 95% of students demonstrate proficiency in foundational reading skills in 2027. Barkey said she believes the school corporation can get there sooner.