Richard Zimman, District Administrator for the Ripon Area School District, was visited on July 16, 2012. The discussion focused on four areas concerning district policy; district expectations of new teachers; TPA and producing a student teacher video; and the following programs:
- The Add on Licensure Program extends the license of teachers. The program is individually tailored to help teachers or districts enhance their flexibility in curriculum areas.
- The Educational Leadership Program has the flexibility for districts to choose course work that focuses on their district goals and initiatives. This course work could be made part of an individual Master’s of Science Degree for teachers in the district
- A new Principal Licensure Program is now available and is being offered in site-based cohorts or on-campus.
- The Reading Teacher License (316) and Reading Specialist License (317) are both licenses that can aid teachers in the development of programs that focus on the Literacy Common Core Standard that involves all curriculum areas.
The following key points were also discussed during the visit:
- New teachers need to understand RTI and the common core standards. A lacking of current teaching practices in the field of education is also evident during interviews. They also need more knowledge in the areas of instructional strategies and student assessment.
- The district has a passive permission policy that would give the students the option of not being in the classroom if the class is being used in a video for student teaching. The district would be able to upload a student teachers video to the Internet for evaluation by an outside company. Districts should also be aware that any student teacher video is a public record.
- The district feels that the Add On Licensure is a good program to offer to districts. It will be important in the future for districts to look for new teachers with multiple licensures. The district has made use of the program in the past. If it was an area of need the district has paid for the licensure in the past.
- An 18-week format for student teaching would be more beneficial for student teachers and the classroom students. It gives more time for the student teacher to find out what being a teacher really is all about both in and out of the classroom.