NEWS FROM THE PRINCIPAL Dr. Timothy Grivois-Shah, Ed.D.
October 13, 2014
As parents, nothing matters more to us than the well-being of our children. Our children’s future depends largely on the quality of education they receive today. Grijalva’s children deserve the best instruction we can offer, and the most important factor affecting the quality of Grijalva’s program is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. We started this year unable to hire certified teachers for three of our classrooms. This meant hiring substitutes while we searched for talented, effective teachers to care for our children. Though far from ideal, having positions available during the school year created unexpected opportunities for Grijalva to improve our school.
First, we discovered new talent. Prior to joining Grijalva’s team, Ms. Bish (5th grade) and Ms. Lopez (3rd Grade Dual Language) were both sought-after substitute teachers throughout our district. After my first visit to Ms. Bish’s class, I thought, “Here is someone who belongs in a classroom.” Thankfully, Ms. Bish felt the same, and since that visit, she is now enrolled in an internship program that will allow her to be a fully licensed teacher. Similarly, Ms. Lopez is a natural in third grade dual language. Students benefit greatly from learning in two languages, and achieve even more because of Ms. Lopez’ high expectations for each of her students. Like Ms. Bish, Ms. Lopez is enrolled in a teacher licensing program and hopes to be an early childhood teacher. When licensed, Ms. Bish and Ms. Lopez will begin their careers with more than a certificate; they’ll have concrete classroom experience to support their work at Grijalva.
Our second opportunity was to search for creative solutions. Unexpectedly, one of our second grade classrooms and another of our third grade classrooms lost enrollment while the rest of Grijalva expanded. This allowed us to assign Ms. Nez, a veteran teacher with many years experience in third grade, to one of our available third grade openings. Now, instead of having a third grade classroom without a teacher, we have an opportunity to hire a new team member to reduce class size in our kindergarten.
Finally, we changed our approach to recruiting. Right now, we have few applicants for any position anywhere in the district. This means that Grijalva must take the lead in recruiting candidates. In the last month, we’ve developed partnerships with the University of Arizona and the Southern Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children to find teachers who want to join our Grijalva family. In this short time, our efforts increased applicants to our kindergarten position from zero to three. The good news is that Grijalva Elementary School is a great place to teach and to learn! Teachers who join our community tend to stay here for years. All of us, families, children, and staff, know that our community has deep roots, and that working together, we help our school’s roots grow even deeper.
July 27, 2014
July 8, 2014
My name is Tim Grivois-Shah, and I am excited to be your school’s principal!
I’m a teacher of ten years experience: eight as a classroom teacher and two as a building leader of a large elementary school in Niles, Illinois. I am excited to begin a fun year full of learning with my new Grijalva family.
You can count on all of us at Grijalva to help your child feel safe, connected, and challenged each and every day. We look forward to working with families and community members to ensure that our children achieve all they can.
I look forward to meeting you soon. Feel free to drop by the office and share with me what you love about Grijalva!