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What's Happening in the District: October 2021

Recruiting Teachers for Future School Years 

    We have been in contact with ASU about a partnership that would help us to recruit and retain more teachers. On October 8 we had a representative from ASU present the plan to interested community members, including some of the aides that work in our district. ASU has agreed to allow any community members to work towards their teaching degree through ASU while still living and working in St. Johns. ASU would hold Zoom classes two nights a week. The best part of this agreement is that it is free for anyone interested who commits to teaching in Arizona up to the number of years they received free tuition and waived fees. We had several community members and aides from our district who attended the presentation from ASU. We are excited about this partnership and what it could mean for maintaining a strong teaching force for years to come.

    In the Classroom

    It has been really enjoyable to observe classes throughout our district as well as to substitute. When interacting with our students it is readily apparent just how fortunate we are to have the students that we do. Teachers throughout our district have committed to excellence that manifests itself in student performance and behavior in the classroom. For example, a couple of weeks ago I sat and watched a class of 6th graders engage in a Socratic seminar where they picked apart and discussed texts that they had been reading. It was so fun to see these students really press on each other’s ideas, ask questions of each other, and elaborate on their own opinions, all while their teacher sat as a quiet observer. I believe we are helping our students not only learn content but also learn the process for lifelong learning.

    Writing Program

    Teachers throughout the district involved in writing have done an amazing job in formulating some adjustments that we would like to implement in the district as we continue to improve writing district-wide. Currently, we have a four-teacher writing committee charged with working on a first draft of what will be a district-wide writing program. The hope is that we will be able to have a final draft of the program by the Spring. We are excited to see how this improves our students’ writing.

    It is such a privilege to be a part of St. Johns Unified School District. From teachers to principals, staff, parents, and students, we are part of a wonderful community.


    Kyle Patterson

    Kyle Patterson