Moline district adds Coal Valley to name


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Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2014, 10:41 pm
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By Nicole Lauer, correspondent
MOLINE – Moline School District No. 40 became Moline-Coal Valley Unit District 40 after a unanimous vote by school board members Monday.

Board members had no discussion before the vote but previously had said the name change was to recognize an important segment of the district's population. The district has one school, Bicentennial Elementary, in Coal Valley.

Also on Monday, board members were updated on a new mentoring program that will emphasize the retention and professional development of new teachers. Assistant superintendent Matt DeBaene said each of the district's new 27 certified staff members will have a mentor. Counselors, social workers and speech pathologists also are being paired with mentors.

About 21 teachers have signed up to be mentors and will receive a $500 stipend. Mr. DeBaene said each mentor teacher is expected to devote 60 hours per year through face-to-face meetings, emails, Google Hangouts, professional development and other time.

Mr. DeBaene said the district previously has used mentoring programs intermittently and state funding for such programs has been eliminated in recent years. He said superintendent David Moyer believes strongly in the benefits of mentoring programs and made it a priority of the district's budget.

Mr. DeBaene said, nationally, 40 percent of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years because of disatisfaction. In the Moline-Coal Valley district, that turnover is not a significant problem, so the main objective of the mentoring effort will be to help new teachers through their first year and push them to be their best.

"We're trying to make people more effective faster," he said.

The first group of participating teachers will be asked for ideas on tweaking the program, Mr. DeBaene said. The program eventually also may work with teachers in their second year, he said.

In other business, the board:

-- Approved Rowdy Frederiksen's appointment as assistant principal of Wilson Middle School.

-- Learned the Jefferson Early Childhood Center received a silver recognition through ExceleRate Illinois, a new quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development programs for children age birth to age 5.

-- Learned completed summer projects at the high school included parking lot repairs, air conditioning of computer labs, elevator modernization and pool renovation. Track work at Browning Field also is complete. Facilities director Darryl Snyder said the Hamilton project remains ahead of schedule and steel started going up last Monday.



















 



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