Thursday, March 24, 2011

Setting the tone for the future

Setting the tone for the future of the Sioux Center Community School District.  That is what is happening this spring.  Four years ago the Sioux Center Board of Education, in an attempt to achieve the financial goals of the district, offered early retirement to the teaching staff.  Through the current school year, fourteen staff members have opted to take advantage of the incentive. 
Early retirement is a double edged sword.  The purpose is to provide relief to the general fund which is the main operating fund of the district.  This is realized by allowing veteran staff to retire and filling those positions with younger teachers thereby reducing salary and benefit costs.  The flip side of the process is that the district loses experienced and good teachers who are the core of the staff.  These staff members have faithfully served the children of the district for many years. 
The fact that we have so many veteran staff is a testament to the district and the community of Sioux Center.  When a person becomes a member of the teaching staff they generally stay for a very long time.   The average years of service for the seven teacher s who will be retiring at the end of the current school year will be thirty years.  Therefore, hiring replacements for these positions or any other becomes extremely important.  The climate and culture of the Sioux Center Community School District will be determined through the hiring process.
The district has hiring procedures that are very detailed and designed to be objective in hiring the process.  These procedures help the district maintain reliability and validity to hire with as little bias as possible.  The Sioux Center District is blessed to be attractive to candidates allowing a very strong candidate pool.  For the seven positions vacated by early retirement over two hundred and fifty applications were received.  Candidates are segregated by job criteria, experiences, and preparation.  Candidates that are selected for interview will be judged upon their technical capabilities and how they fit the culture of a district striving for excellence. 
The board and administration of the district rely on this process to provide our children with the best possible instruction by teachers who will challenge and push the talents of their students.  The district wants teachers who will bring their “A” game every day.
The district would like to thank those teachers who are retiring at the end of the school year for their dedication to our children, parents, and community.  We wish you the best in your retirement years.