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School Stories

Task Force Tackles Faculty Compensation Redesign

The 2019-20 faculty will be the first to be compensated based on Graland’s new salary structure, pioneered over the past two years by a dedicated task force of teachers and administrators.
 
The group spent countless hours conducting research into compensation structures at comparable schools and consulting with their colleagues while brainstorming innovative ideas for the new design. Teachers at Graland had ample opportunity to provide feedback at focus group meetings and through an anonymous survey. In the end, many teachers expressed that the structure will motivate them to collaborate more across disciplines, to be more creative in the classroom, and to be proud of their contributions and accomplishments at Graland.
 
Graland Salary Spheres
The new compensation structure is designed to inspire teachers to be their best in the classroom, because the best teachers have the biggest impact on student learning. “We wanted to honor what our community values in its teachers: collaboration and the desire to learn and grow through professional development, innovation and leadership,” shares task force member and Grade 1 teacher, Tera Malyszko. “These are qualities that benefit the whole community.”

Rather than rewarding teachers simply on their years of experience and educational achievements -- what they look like on paper -- the redesigned structure rewards teachers for impacting students in the classroom as well as how they implement and model our values. The compensation design is organized into banded spheres that allow for a range of salary levels within each sphere. Teachers were assigned a sphere based on their self-evaluations and assessment by their supervisors.

Developing this unique, forward-thinking structure was itself an exercise in the very traits the structure values: innovation, collaboration and leadership. But it was not without its challenges, providing task force members with the opportunity to practice perseverance. “There is such a diverse group of faculty members at Graland that we wrestled with creating a model that would fit all,” Mrs. Malyszko admits. “To solve for this, members of the task force brought a lot of different perspectives and we did tons of research into how other schools structure their compensation programs. The structure is dynamic because it allows room for growth within each circle and motivates teachers no matter what sphere they’re in.”

Coinciding with the new structure, every faculty member received a salary increase to help address the rising costs of living in the Denver metro area. Funds for the additional dollars will be drawn from tuition, the Inspire endowment and operational efficiencies, according to Juan Botello, director of finance and operations and chair of the task force. 
 
Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in communication and minor in English, Mimi has worked as Graland’s lead communicator since 2012. She is responsible for producing all the school’s publications including Graland Today, Graland Online, Growing Up Graland, the annual report and the directory/handbook, and she also works closely with the GPA to promote community-building activities.
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.