Equitable Distribution of Effective & Experienced Teachers
Each year, the school district reviews its student demographic makeup on the Minnesota Report Card. The below chart reflects our student population as of 2019. All students are treated the same when it comes to course and grade-level teacher placement. The district follows a hiring process in which it identifies the best teacher candidate (whether from current staff or a pool of potential new hires) for open positions across the district.
The district is committed to filling positions with staff that have the appropriate licenses. When it is difficult to find candidates for a particular position that have the appropriate licensure, the district works through the Minnesota Department of Education's teacher license waiver process. The district is also sensitive to the needs of low-income and minority students and works to ensure that they are taught by experienced and effective teachers, as is the case for all other students in the school district. Review of teacher placement and hiring practices is completed each year, including a review of students’ access to teachers that reflect the diversity of enrolled students.
Student Access to Racially and Ethnically Diverse Teachers
The recruitment of teachers with diverse racial and/or ethnic backgrounds to better mirror the make-up of our student body is challenging for Westonka Public Schools for a number of reasons. There is a smaller pool of teacher candidates in the area with diverse racial and/or ethnic backgrounds and, in our analysis, teachers with diverse backgrounds do not regularly apply for jobs in our school district. Westonka's aim when hiring staff is to employ individuals that display a multi-cultural lens versus a mono-cultural lens of our students.
The district will continue to make efforts to diversify its teaching staff and will reach out to neighboring school districts to discuss strategies that have worked to fulfill this goal. The district will also target job fairs and use communication tools to reach a broader base of potential hires with more diverse ethnic backgrounds.