August 19, 2016 - In This Issue:

New Tulsa Public Schools Teachers Get Training to Prepare for the Year
By:  Nour Habib
About 300 Tulsa Public Schools teachers gathered at the district's professional development center Thursday for a third day of new teacher training.  Katy Ackley, director of new teacher support, said the New Teacher Onboarding event is a great way to support new teachers.  "We assume that university prepares teachers for Day 1," Ackley said.  But each district is different, and most new teachers are not ready for the district-specific aspects of the jobs, she said. This week's training was open to those who are new to the profession, those who are new to the district, retired teachers returning to work and "rebalanced" - or reassigned - teachers. Read More...

Classroom Connection | Mentors Bolster New Teachers
By:   Sarah Reed
It was 4 p.m. on a Wednesday after bus duty. Back in the classroom after helping students onto their buses, I began to straighten up, sharpen pencils, and rush to grade and write comments on student work, preparing for the next day. At 5:20, I called my family to notify them that I would be home a little later than usual.  As I drove to meet new teachers at a coffee shop, I talked to myself, shaking off the good and the difficult from the day. At Heine Brothers, I regained my smile, as I saw three new teachers who needed all of my attention. Read More...

Gwinnett Schools Welcomes 1,300 Teachers to Orientation
By:  Keith Farner
The speech so moved Frances Davis that she sprung around the stage, gave hugs and posed for pictures.  "We just need to do a benediction right now," said Davis, an associate superintendent with Gwinnett County Public Schools.  What excited Davis was the message shared at the new teacher orientation on Tuesday morning by Citlali Mota, a rising senior at Peachtree Ridge High  School . Speaking to more than 1,300 teachers at the Infinite Energy Center who are new to Gwinnett or started with the school district after the first day of school last year, Mota shared her life story. Read More...

Focus on a Blog
10 Tips for Successfully Onboarding New Staff in Schools - Battelle For Kids
With the beginning of another school year, students aren't the only ones adjusting to a new school or classroom. For thousands of educators and other district staff across the country, the first day of school is also their first day on the job. Starting these employees off on the right foot-whether the person is a novice teacher, a 20-year veteran educator moving to a new district, or a part-time cafeteria worker-is critical to their professional success, the stability of the organization, and most importantly, student learning. Consider:
  • 22 percent of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment
  • New employees decide whether they're comfortable in the first three weeks
  • The cost of losing an employee in the first year is at least three times his/her salary
Focus on a Member
What School District do you work for? How many employees/ students are in your district?  
I am the Director of Human Resources at McMinnville School District in McMinnville Oregon. There are 6,700 students in our District. 

Steffanie Frost
How did you get into the field of HR in education? 
I always wanted to be a teacher however, when I started student teaching I quickly realized being in a classroom with 30+ children was not for me. I knew I wanted to stay in the education field so I continued my education in the field of Human Resources and apply the knowledge I gained in my education courses to working with staff members across my district.

What advice would you give to your peers who are new to K12 HR? 
I strongly believe networking with other HR colleagues is crucial to being successful in any school HR position. The knowledge that I have gained from other HR colleagues has been invaluable to me. I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without my colleagues around the state.   One of the best ways to network is getting involved with your state association. I attend all Oregon state conferences as well as the National AASPA conferences. The training and resources I have been able to access by attending these events have been instrumental in increasing my job knowledge and skills.  I am now a Board member for the Oregon School Personnel Association and through that work have made lifelong connections with HR professionals across the state.

What is the best part of your job? What do you enjoy about it the most?
I decided to pursue a career in the HR field because I really enjoy helping people grow and learn.  My mission in life is to do my job well so the staff members in my District can focus on teaching kids.  If the HR department is providing staff members with the resources they need kids benefit and they are the reason we are here.

Tell us about your favorite memory or "A-Ha!" moment from an AASPA Event.  
At the October 2015 conference in Baltimore I attended a session on process mapping in the HR department. After coming back from that conference we began process mapping in my district. I have carried that work forward to my current district and it has been really helpful in breaking down how a process works so it is easy for everyone to follow.

American Association of School Personnel Administrators
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