Expense for district development day questioned

During last week’s meeting of the Warren County School District board of directors, one member questioned the expense at least $3,400 for a professional development day later this year.

Board member Mary Anne Paris asked that the item be pulled from the consent agenda, a single motion to approve a host of items already reviewed at committee. “We’re asking our students to cyber, have we contemplated using this for our teachers?” she asked. She proposed undertaking the training on the curriculum mapping process via the internet.

An agreement brought before the school board’s Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee in January would bring Jeanne Tribuzzi, with Curriculum Designers, Inc., back to Warren County for an additional training day in June.

An agreement presented to the board indicates that the training day would occur on June 11 and would cost the district $3,400 plus travel expenses. A note on esbpub.wcsdpa.org states that the funding is within the budget.

Interim Director of Pupil Services Ruth Nelson said that the district has utilized Skype, an Internet communications video conferencing provider, to communicate with this trainer through the school year at a cost of $500 per hour. Nelson said the goal of bringing her here was to have her work directly with the staff.

Nelson said the district is “struggling with curriculum mapping in language arts.” She pointed out that the cost of a full day online and offline would be comparable.

“She’ll be available to work with all the staff as needed,” said Nelson, explaining that departments are trying to finalize curriculum map drafts. “She is a specialist focusing on language arts.”

“Has anyone else figured out the final cost for this program?” board member Tom Knapp asked.

“If we ask students to cyber, teachers should do the same,” Paris reiterated.

Board member Jack Werner, citing a conversation with Gary Weber, the district’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, before the committee meeting, said “he (Weber) sees this as a really key piece” in completing the language arts mapping process.

“How does this fit into the Common Core?” Knapp asked.

“You’re reviewing your Common Core (throughout the process),” he said. “Having an individual who has done it throughout the country, if language arts is the area that is this individual’s area of expertise, that cuts across a broad area as well.”

The agreement was approved by an 8-1 vote with Paris the lone dissent.