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Baker Superintendent Stroder discusses district progress

6 months 1 week 5 days ago Tuesday, November 14 2023 Nov 14, 2023 November 14, 2023 7:02 PM November 14, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BAKER - As one of his first moves as acting superintendent, JT Stroder made it a priority to pay Baker teachers more.

"I knew that in order to change instruction in the classroom on a daily basis, we had to attract and retain high quality certified teachers," he said.

Now, the district has the second highest salaries in the state, and the changes didn't stop there. Stroder implemented a no-cellphone policy for students during school hours.

Though resisted at first, Stroder says it's caused students to interact with each other more and has improved behavior.

"Our discipline referrals are down probably 70, 75 percent in the first month of school."

Over the weekend, the Baker School Board voted to make Stroder the permanent superintendent.

The changes were potentially reflected in the recent upgrade of the school system from 'F' to 'D'. It's hard to say definitively, since Stroder has only been in charge for seven months.

However, some on the school board aren't all that impressed with the small progress.

"The growth is exceptionally small, and we're going to have to make more leaps and bounds in order to make a significant difference in the continued progress," board member Linda Perkins said.

School board president Joyce Burges wants the community to see the glass half full.

"Where the grades are concerned--a 'D' is just one more step toward a 'C' and a 'C' one more step toward a 'B', so I just want the community to understand that they have to cling to these good things," Burges said.

Stroder's plan to get them there is to stay the course.

"We do more of what we've been doing. We continue to strengthen that teacher in the classroom. We continue to remove the distractions in the learning environment. We provide high quality programs and curriculum. We stay on the track that we're on."

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