Yukon will add to teaching staff for next school year

The Yukon School District plans to add 19.5 certified positions for the upcoming school year.

That was the word Monday from Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth, who told members of the school board that the additional positions are the result of district growth as well as the anticipation of the opening of a new intermediate school.

Redstone Intermediate School is expected to open in the 2020-21 school year. Groundwork for the school began in February. The school will be at the intersection of Britton and Mustang roads.

Simeroth said crews have been clearing the property in anticipation of a groundbreaking ceremony. No date has been set for that event.

Simeroth said the additional personnel are needed now.

“Everyone knows its about the kids. It’s their money, it’s their schools and it’s their kids. We try to honor that with some of the things we’ve done,” Simeroth said.

The additional staff is the result of a leadership retreat held earlier this year during which administrators made suggestions about the district’s future needs.

Simeroth said seven fulltime educators will be added at the elementary level, six at the middle school, one gifted and talented teacher at the middle school, including a special education teacher and a psychologist. In addition, a special education teacher will be added to the YALE Move Program, as will a band teacher who will split time at the middle and high schools.

In addition, the district will add a full-time reading specialist and counselor. Also, an assistant principal will be added at the middle school.

The district also will add a fulltime communications specialist, which will allow the district to handle its advertising, fundraising and public relations internally. Much of that work is now done through a contracted company.

“We can do our thing and have that revenue through our own district. That is a new

position we will be adding,” he said.

The district also plans to increase salaries of its bus drivers so that it better matches the surrounding districts in an effort to attract and keep bus drivers.

The idea is to make sure that Yukon is competitive in everything, Simeroth said.

Last year, the district added about 20 certified positions.

Meanwhile, the board also voted to rehire most of its administrators.

The lone exception is Roni McKee, who is the principal at Independence Elementary School. McKee has resigned effective at the end of the school year because she is moving out of the country. Her husband has accepted a position in the Netherlands.

Also Monday, the school board voted to request an exemption from the state Department of Education that will allow the Yukon Alternative Learning Experience program to operate on a four-day school week.

Simeroth said YALE traditionally seeks the exemption from the five-day school week to allow its students to utilize Fridays as a makeup day should they miss a day of class or need extra help.

Last year, more than 100 students successfully went through the program.

Desarae Witmer, the district’s director of curriculum, went over the results of Yukon’s new report card.

Witmer said Yukon fared well on the report card, which was developed by the state education department.

Each school is graded individually on student growth and achievement. Each school also received an overall score.

To see the individual school results, go to https://oklaschools.com and search for Yukon.

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