1) Q What support structures are in place for new teachers to the district? AWest Plains R-7 prides itself in offering quality learning opportunities to all our new faculty. New teachers will be assigned a well-matched mentor in their building that will facilitate collaboration from the very first day. New teachers will participate in our Mentor Program, which helps ensure communication among new staff and master teachers, as well as providing opportunities for professional learning throughout the year designed especially for new teachers. 2) Q What other types of help do new teachers receive? AAlong with New Teacher Orientaion, new teachers will receive an orientation in their building during regularly scheduled faculty meetings prior to the first day of school. This orientation will vary by building. 3) Q What do I need to know about district curriculum? ACurriculum guides have been developed for all content areas at each grade level. Textbooks and other resources are provided to supplement the curriculum. All teachers are expected to implement the curriculum activities following the timeline on their curriculum map/scope and sequence. Common assessments are given on a quarterly basis to determine student mastery of objectives. For more information about West Plains R-7 Curriculum, go to www.zizzers.org/curriculum. 4) Q When do I begin? ATeachers new to the R-7 district begin before school even starts with New Teacher Orientation - a three-day orientation designed to deliver necessary information for teachers to know going into the first day of school. Topics covered in orientation range from technology training - including how to use our gradebook system and developing your classroom Web site - to learning about the district's Special Services department - including Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and helping students with disabilities. 5) Q What professional learning opportunities are available for faculty? AWest Plains R-7 is dedicated to providing high-quality professional learning opportunities to our faculty throughout the year. Options for professional learning include the Zizzer Professional Academy, which provides an opportunity for faculty to participate in courses designed by the R-7 district to help meet the needs of our faculty while helping teachers earn a stipend, college credit from Missouri State University, or Professional Learning hours. Other options include the Teacher Academy, offered by the Regional Professional Development Council, as well as professional learning days throughout the year dedicated to Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in each building. 6) Q What will my first paycheck look like? AFirst-year teachers will begin at step 1A on the West Plains R-7 salary schedule. All R-7 staff members receive 100 percent board-paid individual insurance, 13 percent toward retirement and 1.45 percent Medicare match with each paycheck.
Your first pay stub will reflect all deductions from your pay, including any additional insurance you have chosen to purchase, such as dental or a family plan, taxes, as well as any charitable deductions you have chosen (i.e. United Way campaign). Any extra-duty pay or stipends will be added at certain times, however will not be itemized on your pay stub.
7) Q Does West Plains R-7 have a Career Ladder program? AWest Plains R-7 does not participate in a Career Ladder program. The district has opted instead to place all available monies toward developing a competitive salary schedule to benefit all staff members. 8) Q Does each building in the district pay the same? AEach building pays on the same pay scale, however teachers at South Fork Elementary receive a 5 percent stipend because South Fork has a longer school day than the other buildings in the R-7 district. 9) Q How will my performance be evaluated? AAll teachers are expected to complement their curriclum as designated in their curriculum guide, participate in professional learning opportunities, and resume responsibilities outside the classroom so they relate to school. Your performance will be evaluated through the district's Professional-Based Teacher Evaluation program. 10) Q How can I be involved outside of my classroom? AThere are many ways to be involved outside of your classroom at West Plains R-7, through extra-curricular activities, joining committees, teaching in the Before and After School Program, or tutoring. 11) Q Will I be paid for extra duties? AMany extra-curricular activities pay a stipend based on our salary schedule. Teachers may also be paid for work in the Before and After School Program, tutoring, or for taking on extra building duties, such as lunch duty. 12) Q If I have taught at another district, how many years experience can I count for salary? ATeachers with experience may bring up to 10 years to count toward the salary schedule. Per Missouri law, you may count one (1) year toward tenure and must teach four (4) years in the West Plains School District to be eligible to receive tenure. 13) Q When are teachers re-hired each year? AReturning teachers are hired by the Board of Education during its regular monthly meeting in March. 14) Q Who do I contact regarding the status of my application? AYou may contact the principal/administrator of the appropriate building regarding the status of your application at any time.