GREAT FALLS — Progress continues for Great Falls Public Schools' CORE School which will help address teacher recruitment and retention.
Last month, the district chose Morningside Elementary School as the location for the new program.
GFPS is partnering with University of Montana-Western and other educational institutions.
As for the latest update, Mountain View Elementary School principal Jennifer Martyn was selected to be the principal of the CORE School.
"Mountain View has been close to my heart, so it's bittersweet to leave, but I am so excited for this new opportunity at the CORE School," Martyn said.
Martyn served as Mountain View's principal for five years. She has served in administrative roles in Washington (Federal Way, and Spanaway School District). She earned her Masters of Education at Ohio State University and got the opportunity to student-teach.
Heather Hoyer, who serves as the Director for Student Achievement at GFPS, said Martyn's experience was a big factor for the district choosing her ranging from Title I to student teaching, along with her diverse skillset. Martyn also highlighted the introduction of a STEM School.
While Martyn has served in various positions, she describes her new position as a unique opportunity.
"I expect people to be excited for the CORE School coming," she said. "I think of the unique opportunity to have student teachers coming in, working with the University of Montana Western, having two teachers in a classroom for our students. The student teachers are learning and having a mentor work with them throughout the day, helping to teach their courses, it's a super unique opportunity. I expect it to be a really collaborative process between all of the adults, from district staff to student teachers, to our students and families, and partnering with the community during that."
With the position filled, the district plans to start the teacher selection process. The district has a bargained agreement with the union. Hoyer said the first round of district transfers will be January 3rd.
"When teachers come back from break, they will open up positions to teachers who want to apply for being a teacher at CORE School, and it's for CORE School only," Hoyer said. "We will be looking to start staffing our school within the next couple of school weeks."
GFPS Director for Student Achievement Jackie Mainwaring said the district will also hold informational sessions for families who are considering enrollment in the spring of 2024.
The district is working with the Montana Board of Public Education in applying for Public Charter School Status. This comes as a new law, House Bill 549 allows school districts to set up charter schools.
Mainwaring said the district will know whether their application is accepted or denied by January 2024.
The district hopes to start the CORE School in Autumn 2024.