Staff training report to come to school board

February 11, 1993|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer

If the Howard County school system is to remain at the top, it must do more to help teachers and administrators develop professionally, according to staff development coordinator Sandra Erickson.

Ms. Erickson will be presenting a report on the future and direction of staff development to Board of Education members at tonight's meeting.

"We're in a time of great change," Ms. Erickson said. "There are a tremendous amount of new initiatives and new requirements. Staff development is crucial to these changes."

The budget for staff development has been slashed 35 percent -- or close to $700,000 -- since fiscal 1991, she said. Budget cuts have come at a time when about six new schools have opened and almost 1,500 additional students are entering the system each year.

"We're still doing a lot of good things very well," she said. "But we are not keeping pace with the growth or the needs. And it's not only the growth, but also the influx of educational trends and initiatives."

Ms. Erickson's office is working on short-term plans, including implementing school-based management and a new teacher-support program, as well as long-range goals.

"As we look to the future of our growing school system, we are going to have to have staff development commensurate with the growth," she said.

Also at tonight's meeting, the school board is expected to vote on a plan to implement the new student service graduation requirement. Associate Superintendent Joan Palmer is recommending a plan that would allow students to finish the requirement in middle school, through a school-based course, and in high school, either through 75 hours of community service or by finishing a leadership course.

The board also will vote on whether to reduce physical education for high school students by one-half credit to accommodate the new one-credit health class required for graduation.

The board will also hear a report by high school director Daniel Jett on alternative scheduling. "We always need to stay up and stay current on our options," said Associate Superintendent James McGowan, adding that new mandates from the state have raised the question of whether there are enough periods for students to fulfill all requirements.

MEETING

What: Board of Education meeting

Where: Department of Education building, 10910 Route 108 in Ellicott City

When: Today at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Information: 313-7197

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