Glendale-River Hills

School District Update

Dear Parents & Guardians-

Welcome to the first edition of the Glendale-River Hills School District Update. We value our parents and community and want to improve our open lines of communication. Please take a moment to read through this email for the most recent information happening in the district. Be sure to continue to check out communication from your building principals and Thursday folders, while we work on streamlining our communication procedures.


As a district, we are committed to providing a quality education for ALL students.

Our commitment is to EVERY kid, EVERY day, Whatever it takes!

Change is an Opportunity for Growth!

The district is thrilled with the transition of our new leadership team for the 2019-2020 school year. Great things are happening with our new team!


Jennica Westfahl- Director of Teaching and Learning

Nasif Rogers- Glen Hills Principal

Shari Tucker- Associate Principal at Glen Hills

Mallory Umar- Associate Principal at Parkway.

Some familiar names and faces still on the leadership team- Larry Smalley- Superintendent, Shannon Kilton- Director of Educational Services, and Haydee Smith- Principal at Parkway.

We are here to support our students and families! We are committed to EVERY kid, EVERY day, WHATEVER IT TAKES!

Did you know...

  • Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade
  • By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school


Doors open at 8:40 AM

School Hours 8:50-3:35

Glen Hills:

Doors open at 7:30 AM

School Hours 7:46-3:00

Substitute Teacher Shortage

Each year school districts across the state struggle to fill substitute teacher spots in our public schools. To be proactive, the Glendale-River Hills School District contracts with Teachers on Call, which is a substitute staffing service that hires licensed teachers, paraprofessionals, tutors, and early childcare staff. They partner with schools and centers across the country to fulfill the needs of short and long term substitutes.

Despite the fact we are using this service, we still struggle to get all of our vacancies filled each day requiring us to be creative each morning to staff our classrooms.

We are continually recruiting new people to join our substitute teaching pool. If you have a bachelor's degree and like working with kids, please reach out to the building principal or secretary in each school. We'd be happy to have you shadow a classroom and see what the job entails. Our current daily rate for substitute teacher rate is outlined below:

  • Less than 20 days for GDRH in a single assignment = $115
  • 25 days for GDRH in previous school year = $125
  • Long Term Sub 20+ days in single GDRH assignment = $200

Food Service Update

As you know, we have a new food service company serving food to our students this year. We have received great feedback on the quality of food and the number of choices being offered to our kids. Although the transition started with a few bumps in the road, we do believe these have been remediated. Please continue to keep an eye on your child's lunch account to ensure the transactions are accurate.

School Safety & Security

School safety is important in the Glendale-River Hills School District. Both buildings have secured entrances staffed with people and entry procedures. We are now adding one additional layer of security by asking all visitors and volunteers to present photo identification, such as a driver's license or state identification card to enter the buildings. Any adult that enters the building will be scanned and given a personalized visitor badge during their visit. Please know the system specifically looks for felony warrants and sex offenses and not misdemeanors nor traffic violations. This system will replace the background check sheets that many volunteers were required to complete earlier this school year.

Professional Development

Did you ever wonder what the staff does on the professional development days?

Our district is committed to professional growth and learning around the following topics:

  • Equity
  • Literacy
  • Culture/Climate

Each professional development day that your kids stay home from school, the staff participates in training and discussions around these topics. To help parents learn and understand the direction of our district initiatives, we will highlight some of this work in each edition of our communication with parents during the school year.

One exciting thing we are doing this year is having each staff member participate in a book study led by our own teachers and administrators. The staff gets to choose a club that interests them and is able to learn and grow with their colleagues.

Here are the topics we are reading and learning about this school year!

Social-Emotional Development

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) can be a part of our daily practices with students! Participants will continue to explore the importance of SEL in the classroom. Through discussion of articles and resources, participants will be exposed to evidence-based SEL practices, build confidence, practice new skills and be provided with takeaway materials to utilize inside and outside of the classroom!


Using excerpts from The Google Infused Classroom, this book study will allow teachers to explore how to use technology in meaningful ways in the classroom. Teachers will explore the essential question: How can we use technology in our classrooms to allow students to make their learning visible and share their work with authentic audiences?


Using Oluo’s book So You Want To Talk About Race? as the primary basis for discussion and examination, this group will dive into the topic of race and whiteness in American society. Participants will work to develop a solid understanding of how to navigate discussions on race and receive an education on the implications that this has for teachers and administrators who serve in diverse communities.

Special Education

Re-Examining Special Education! Let’s read the current research on ways to best meet the needs of all kids! We are RESPONSIBLE, Every Kid, Every Day, Whatever it Takes! How can we do it the best way possible?


Join us as we REALLY dig into one of the newest Jennifer Serravallo books, Understanding Texts, and Readers. Our time together will provide us the opportunity to examine the many tools this book offers for immediate implementation with readers. We will explore the various strategies discussed in the book, and then "have a go" at some of them in our classrooms. Each time we meet, we will professionally debrief on how we did and how kids responded.


In our book study, we will examine current research on the continual educational subornation of LGBTQ+ Youth of Color. Education and society neglect of these highly marginalized populations. How do these oppressive assumptions contribute to our thinking in and outside of the classroom? Will be the essential question of this book study.

Culture & Behavior

Using current research-based articles we will dive into the best (and most effective) practices around students with challenging behaviors, explore discipline vs. punishment approaches and learn strategies to not only deescalate students but prevent those escalations from happening altogether.