Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Notes from Teacher Town Hall Meeting, 1/22/18

The Board of Education held a Town Hall Meeting for teachers on Monday, January 22.

The below notes are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the Board of Education meetings and are provided as a request from my supporters and the general public in a personal effort to be more transparent. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as unbiased and accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes.

First I want to apologize for not getting these up last night.  My computer was having a moment during our meeting and wouldn't allow me to log in etc.  In addition, I've decided for the purpose of these notes to NOT report the individual staff member name with the comments and list the topics discussed in a broad sense.  Please note, the board and staff did not have time to respond to every concern brought forth but we will be posting the questions/concerns along with responses on www.ccboe.com within the next couple of weeks.

Thank you to everyone that participated and we heard you!
  • what is the required ratio of  students to counselors.  Concern of elementary schools overcrowded with only one counselor.
    • The state recommends 1 counselor to every 250 students.  This number is completely unrealistic and no system in the state has been able to adhere.  Baltimore County doesn't even have elementary counselors.
  • 50% grading policy is not working, is unfair and is no different than social promotion
  • New teachers at high school level teaching 5-6 different classes...workload burdens
  • Teacher workload from annual curriculum changes.  Every year is completely different and cant be piggy backed from previous year.  
  • Resources - too many different places to find curriculum resources and no set resources.   
  • None to little help in raising class test scores; strategies etc.
  • Teacher retention and morale; better customer service
  • Cell Phone Policy/BYOD - disconnect between what it can provide and actual implementation.  Too much of a distraction.  Students using phones during noon instructional times
    • My personal note - Actual cell phone usage policy not being properly implemented or enforced.
  • Lack of COLA since 2009.  Salary scale for veteran teachers diminished.  New teachers being hired at hire pay.
  • Professional Development opportunities fro PPW's, counselors, etc.
  • Upgrade/improvements needed of facilities
  • Breakfast in the classrooms is disruptive and another task placed on teachers.  
  • cell phones recording in schools and teachers privacy
  • large class sizes
  • School culture
  • Project Lead the Way; Engineering open to all students at all schools EXCEPT North Point where students must apply.  Students zoned for North Point dont have the opportunity for Engineering except through application.
  • Equity in staff.  Cited repeated annual staff and administrative turnover at school with lack of tenure.  Incentive or stipends to teach at these struggling schools
  • Students out of control, cursing, disrespectful, assaulting and threatening teachers and other students.
  • Initiate an aggressive social media marketing campaign for the budget approval process
  • Teachers receive negative instead of constructive criticism and need to feel valued and supported.
  • Assault of teacher by student; feel school is an unsafe environment for staff;
  • Teacher implemented Tardy Policy for her class and worked for several years but with the new grading policy now its not allowed
  • Art and other specialty teachers need time to collaborate with likes at other schools
  • Suicide prevention strategies and training for staff and embedded in curriculum for students
  • Need more mentors for new teachers
  • Teachers injured by students increasing
  • Discipline not enforced and students out of control; PBIS not working; setting kids up for failure by not enforcing consequences and setting firm expectations
  • Student ID Badges to identify students by name and for school safety
  • Character Education
  • Additional Orientation option for new teachers hired late.

No comments: