BR board wants workshop details


Blue Ridge school board members would like more detailed summaries from teachers regarding the conferences and workshops they attend.

Board member Laurie Bonner said the district spent a considerable amount of stimulus funds in the past year to send teachers to co-teaching and differentiated instruction workshops.

She added that some of the conference summaries submitted by the teachers “seem pretty basic.”

Superintendent Robert McTiernan explained the co-teaching and differentiated instruction workshops are designed to guide the teachers working with smaller groups of differing abilities.

He said it was an ongoing process. “It’s not just once and done,” McTiernan said about the workshops.

High School Principal R. Scott Jeffery said that at the secondary school level, teachers are learning, thorough the workshops, how to use and analyze data and apply it to meet individual needs in a classroom.

Board member Christina Whitney said, “As stewards of the taxpayer money, (the school board) needs to look at what programs are beneficial and should be continued.”

Whitney said she did not feel a one sentence description of a workshop provided the board with enough information to make appropriate decisions.

Three names were added to the district’s approved guest teacher list.

Board member Shane Rumage expressed concern regarding the district’s use of guest teachers.

McTiernan said certified teachers on the substitute list are called before guest teachers are utilized.

Rumage said he thought there would be more certified subs if they thought they had a better chance for full-time, regular employment with the district down the road.

Board member Priscinda Gaughan said she did see some subs move forward with the district.

Rumage countered, “Some see no opportunity move before them.”

Guidance counselor Jamie Torrence received tenure.

Pamela DeRose and Gwen Gumaer were hired as part-time study hall monitors for the remainder of the school year.

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