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Two schools to undergo restructuring

April 01, 2006|By ROBERT SNYDER

WASHINGTON COUNTY

All teachers at two Washington County schools must reapply for their jobs next year under a restructuring plan the school system announced in a press release Friday afternoon.

Winter Street Elementary and Western Heights Middle schools are slated for restructuring for the 2006-07 school year as part of a plan to accelerate student performance and improve professional development of teachers there, schools' Public Information Officer Carol Mowen said.

"Over the last three years, certain schools have been identified by the Board of Education and the schools' superintendent to be in need of intensive staff development," Mowen said.

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She said the change will bring with it a longer school day and more collaborative responsibilities, but will mean an increase in pay for those teachers who are rehired to their present positions.

"The only way to give teachers increased compensation is to have those jobs reposted and for the staff to reapply," Mowen said.

Teachers rehired for their present positions for the new school year will receive $5,000 annual salary increases while the restructuring is in effect, according to the release.

Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan could not be reached for comment. In the release, Morgan said the restructuring plan provides a framework for staff to renew their commitment to professional development.

Teachers who are not rehired to their present jobs will be placed in another position in the school system, according to the release.

Washington County Teachers Association President Claude Sasse was unavailable for comment.

The restructuring plan is the county's third in as many years.

In 2003, Eastern Elementary School was restructured, with about half of that school's teaching staff rehired for their jobs. Last year, teachers at Bester Elementary School and math and English instructors at South Hagerstown High School also were made to compete for their positions under school improvement initiatives.

Mowen said that under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools must meet certain measurable objectives in order to be designated as having achieved adequate yearly progress. Both Winter Street and Western Heights met those objectives this year, Mowen said.

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