Q Comp to begin in 2014-2015 school year

Hiring starts in January


Mary Bailey
Community Editor

After making a few changes to satisfy the Minnesota Department of Education, the Forest Lake Area School District is on track to implement its new quality compensation program, known as Q Comp, next September.

The school board voted unanimously to approve the plan at the Sept. 5 meeting, with member Erin Turner absent.

Q Comp is a voluntary alternative pay program started by the Minnesota Legislature in 2005 to enhance teacher training and financially reward effective teachers. Participating school districts receive an extra $260 per student ($169 in state aid plus $91 in board-approved levy) for the program.

The Forest Lake Education Association teachers union was instrumental in writing the plan, and 80 percent of the district’s teachers voted in favor of adopting it.

The plan includes advancement options, professional development, teacher evaluation, performance pay and an alternative salary schedule.

At the board meeting, Superintendent Linda Madsen said a Q Comp coordinator will be hired, and that person will be part of the team to hire nine peer coaches.

The coordinator, coaches and other positions will be hired internally, and then new employees will be hired to replace them. Staffing will begin in January 2014.

Community Education

Julie Ohman, director of community education, told the board about her department at the meeting. In its 40th year, Community Education has as its mission to meet the lifelong learning needs of all community members.

School-age child care, which Ohman called “one of the best-kept secrets” in the district, enrolled about 700 children last year and is approaching that number this year.

The annual Home and Business Show held at Century Junior High is co-sponsored by Community Education and the Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Community Education is also involved in the annual Festival of Cultures and Living on Less Resource Fair.

At Lake Fest — a joint venture of the school district, city of Forest Lake and chamber of commerce — Community Education sponsors the movie in the park and also has a team participating in the July 4 parade.

At the district pool at Southwest Junior High, the busy aquatics program teaches children to swim, including home-school families who come in during the day.

Community Education also is responsible for youth athletics, early childhood programs and adult enrichment and wellness programs.

Adult Basic Education is a Community Education program that helps adults get a GED or study English as a second language.

An educational summit planned for Oct. 22 will let day care providers earn continuing education credit, Ohman said.

In April, Community Education plans to host a Ranger Review variety show showcasing the talents of district staff.

Curriculum report

The 2012-2013 annual report on curriculum, instruction and student achievement was presented at the meeting. This four-page document lists the standardized tests taken in each grade and explains the new graduation assessment requirements that took effect in 2013.

The document discusses the use of Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in implementing the federal No Child Left Behind Act and reports the percentage of students in each grade scoring at or above the mean on the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress.

The Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services, a grant to hire literacy and math teachers, is also explained.

The report is posted on-line at http://www.flaschools.org/teaching__learning/annual_report/

Printed copies can be requested at the district office.

  • Q-Comp was in our district before. In fact, while I was on the board of education I supported it. The teachers union voted it out. Why did the paper skip the history on this? Is it not important enough to report?