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District names its first two instructional coaches

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By Stevie Lowery

In late September, the Marion County Board of Education approved hiring six new instructional coaches at a cost of $220,000.
According to Superintendent Taylora Schlosser, most districts throughout the state have instructional coaches, and they are needed to help teachers improve instruction and implement the new Common Core standards, which are a set of academic guidelines that describe what students need to know before they complete each grade level. According to many educators, the new standards are much more rigorous and demanding.
Recently, Schlosser announced that the district plans to officially hire the instructional coaches in the spring and they will assume their responsibilities at the start of the 2014-15 school year. Two of the instructional coaches were announced recently. They are Haley Parman Evans, a math teacher at Marion County High School, and Coury Leathers Osbourne, an English teacher at MCHS. The remaining instructional coaches will be hired in the early spring, Schlosser said.
“I could not remove some of our best teachers from our students in the middle of the school year,” Schlosser said in an email. “This will keep student learning in place for the year, it will give the principals time to advertise and select the best staff to replace them in the classroom, it will give us time to ensure that we are planning for the implementation of coaches, and for the teachers selected, it will give them time to prepare for their new role.”
The instructional coaches’ salaries will be a teacher’s salary (which can vary depending on where they fall on the salary schedule in terms of years of experience, degree level, Rank 1, etc.). The coaches will also be paid for six extended days, which will be used for leading professional development in the summer or going to additional trainings, Schlosser said.