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Some support School Board work session schedule change

December 19, 2000

Some support School Board work session schedule change



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


Some Washington County teachers and parents would favor changing the time of School Board work sessions to late afternoons or early evenings, which would make it easier for them to attend the meetings, they said.

The School Board had recently talked about revamping the work sessions to make them more efficient and to shorten the length of meetings. Some of the board's suggestions included holding one work session a week or moving the sessions to later in the day.

Work sessions, in which Board of Education issues are discussed in detail, are now held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at 10 a.m. and sometimes run as long as three hours or more. Business meetings are held on the same days at 7 p.m.

Sharon Chirgott, president of the Washington County Teachers Association, said the morning meetings prevent teachers from attending as concerned citizens. And when they're required to give presentations at work sessions, teachers have to find substitutes to take over their classes.

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The shortage of substitutes makes the task difficult, she said.

"It's impossible for teachers to attend as spectators," Chirgott said. "And there's always the hassle with substitutes."

Patti Hutchison, president of the Smithsburg Elementary PTA, said later meetings would also be more convenient for parents as well.

"I work at home, but I'm starting a job in January," Hutchison said. "It would be very difficult to attend in the morning, especially for the working moms."

School Board Vice President Bernadette Wagner said she'd support having one work session a week, in addition to the two evening business meetings.

"It would fit better into my schedule," she said.

She said holding the meetings the same time and day once a week would make it easier for her to find a baby sitter, rather than trying to find one every two weeks.

Wagner raises five children.

"It make it easier for me to juggle my schedule, and it reduces the length of some of the meetings," she said. "I think it's worth discussing."

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