County schools cut professional development jobs

June 07, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

Washington County Public Schools will cut two positions in the professional development department as part of a plan to save money, school officials announced Friday.

The department also will be reorganized for efficiency and renamed the Center for Peak Performance and Productivity, officials said in a news release.

"Peak performance for students and staff" is the first goal in the school system's master plan, according to the news release.


The cuts are part of a plan to save $2 million by cutting some central office staff positions, consolidating some teaching positions and cutting back on the number of new teachers to be hired, school officials have said. The cost-cutting plan was launched after the school board received $4.8 million less than it sought from the county and state governments.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said the move is not just financial. It's also geared toward emphasizing the goal of peak performance.

The Center staff will observe classrooms to develop "best practices" guidelines for teachers and make sure those teachers have the skills they need to succeed, she said.

The Center also will be responsible for making sure the school system meets the requirements for highly qualified teachers outlined in the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

"We're going to have a tall order to fill," Morgan said.

The professional development department previously had been staffed with six people - a director, a supervisor, a resource teacher and three clerical employees, Deputy Superintendent Patricia Abernathy said. Under the restructuring plan, it will have four staff members: a supervisor, two resource teachers and one secretary, she said.

The director has been notified that the position has been eliminated and may apply for the lower-paying supervisor position or another position in the school system, Abernathy said.

The supervisor position and two resource teachers positions have been posted.

Fewer clerical positions will be needed because those employees had spent much of their time setting up data collection systems to track school employees' qualifications as required by the No Child Left Behind Act. Now that the systems are in place, there will be less clerical work, Abernathy said.

Center staff will work in one area of the school system's Central Office Building off Commonwealth Avenue instead of being spread throughout the building as the previous department's staff had been.

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