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Gadsden district starts school year
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Superintendent Dr. Raymond Aguilera is predicting a better school year than past years after visiting campuses across the Gadsden Elementary School District on their first day back. â€¨In regards to visiting each of the eight schools in the district, Aguilera said, “I see a lot of excitement; I think some of the kids were tired of the summer. The teachers are hyped up, I see them energized from having gone through extensive training this summer. Our principals are ready to go, they also went through a lot of training this summer. So I think all in all, it's a very positive start.”
Special management teams from each school went to a week of professional development through Arizona State University's Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) over the summer and they also went through their annual Data Summit training to review and analyze student achievement data to develop formal school improvement plans.
“The training was available, so we took advantage of it and we're going to get as much training as necessary to get things done,” he said.
Aguilera commented that they didn't have too many issues with the bus system and thanks to the local police department and their campus security traffic ran smoothly for the first day of school.
“It's a big team effort and it gets done efficiently and effectively,” he said.
Although he doesn't have an official count on enrollment numbers as of yet, he said that they have seen an increased number of students at the kindergarten level.
“We're trying to stabilize classroom sizes as much as possible. We have been for the last 10-11 years but every year they slowly creep up and because of cuts from the state level it'll catch up with us pretty soon,” he estimated.
Teaching positions have been filled with the exception of about five in varying grade levels.
“In some cases we're waiting to see if they passed the state test so they'll be highly qualified,” Aguilera said.
He concluded that the goals of the governing board are to not just receive a passing letter grade from the state, but to have all schools at an A rating. Statewide A-F letter grades for all districts and schools are announced yearly by the Arizona Department of Education.
“We look forward to a great year, I think every year it gets better but I feel like we're really ready to go this year, much more than any other year,” he said.