As the recent recipient of a $3.3 million grant from the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Maricopa Unified School District will be adding 38 staff members in the next few weeks as part of the new district Turnaround Project.
The Turnaround Project will affect five schools in the district: Butterfield Elementary School, Maricopa Elementary School, Maricopa Wells Middle School, Maricopa High School and Saddleback Elementary School. The focus will be on raising student achievement, particularly in the areas of math and reading.
All employees hired with grant monies will receive one-year contracts; contract renewals for a second year will be based on satisfactory evaluations and continued grant funding.
The grant provides for one, full-time Turnaround Project director, 25 full-time teachers to help reduce class size, including a full-time gifted and talented education (GATE) coordinator, four full-time academic coaches and eight paraprofessionals (29.5 hours per week) to monitor assessments.
A Turnaround Project director will be hired to determine progress and the steps needed to turn schools around, utilizing effective instructional programs and data assessment to positively impact student achievement throughout the district. The individual must have a master’s degree, a valid Arizona administrative credential and at least five years teaching experience, including experience as a site administrator and work with testing and measurements. The 12-month administrative contract will pay from $70,000 to $83,584.
The individual hired as the GATE coordinator must also hold a master’s degree, an Arizona teaching credential and have at least three years of classroom teaching experience. This position will provide oversight for the district’s gifted program, working with both the curriculum director and academic coaches. The salary range is $33,330 to $49,954.
With the same salary range as the gifted and talented education coordinator, an academic coach will work directly with staff and students in the areas of math and reading to provide academic intervention and enrichment opportunities, including working with the gifted and talented program. Academic coaching positions will be probably be allocated to Butterfield, Maricopa and Saddleback Elementary Schools and Maricopa Wells Middle School.
The district and Human Resources Director Tom Beckett are currently in the process of hiring for these positions, following the governing board’s approval of the grant at its Aug. 11 meeting.