Sixteen local teachers earn test score bonus
Sixteen hard-working educators in the San Juan School District received a surprise during the last week of the school year: a $4,600 bonus.
The teachers earned the bonus as a result of growth in the test scores of students in their classrooms.
This is the third year of an incentive program that rewards effective teachers in high-poverty schools.
Four teachers in the district have earned the bonus all three years, including Jenny Atcitty, Robert Turk, Anita Jacobsen, and Jolin Redd.
Four Monticello Elementary School teachers earned the bonus, including Carrie Black, Michael Holyoak, Laurie Randall, and Kimberly Young.
Four teachers at Blanding Elementary School also earned the award, including Kristina Begay, Robert Turk, Jolin Redd, and Anita Jacobsen.
Other teachers who earned a year-end bonus include Jenny Atcitty at Montezuma Creek Elementary, Josh Keyes at Monticello High, Layne Nielson and Jamie Carling at San Juan High, and Anna Jim and Amy Reeve at Tse’bii’nidzisgai Elementary, and Julie Castellon and Mabel Martin at ARL Middle School.
Three years ago, the San Juan School District joined the program, which was created by the Utah State legislature. The district matches the state contribution.
Awards were presented after the past three years for the teachers of high-performing students.
Teachers with students who experienced significant growth in standardized testing scores in the 2018 school year received the bonus. The payments are delayed by two years because part of the program is to reward longevity.
The growth in test scores needed to be higher than 70 percent of the general population of students in a core testing area, including language arts, mathematics, or science.
The program is for performance in core testing areas for fourth through 12th grade students. Next year, teachers of first through third grade students will be included.
Sixteen teachers earned the bonus in 2018 and 14 in 2019.
While the other 15 teachers had students above the 70 percent threshold in one of the three core testing areas (language arts, mathematics, or science), students in the class of Jenny Atcitty exceeded the threshold in all three areas.