Lincoln County
February 27, 2018 4:00 PM
Teacher Advisory Council (TAC) Meeting
1. Welcome
2. Staff Concern - "Why are assessments cutting into instructional time?"

These assessments are seriously cutting into instructional time.  In order to accommodate exceptional learners on these assessments, the exceptional child educators are spending more time out of their collaboration classes and also losing resource time with their students." (In the time since this concern was shared, we have been informed that accommodations will no longer be given on common assessments as they were previously)

In kindergarten, we have so many assessments that have to be given one on one. Because of this, obviously it takes a while before they are completed. Since Christmas break, I may have gotten to run groups 5 times. We are literally always testing, which leaves not much time for teaching. I’m afraid we can’t move ahead because we just keep testing, behavior is getting out of control while we try to keep the ones that are not testing busy, and our kids just seem SAD. Honestly, kindergarten is the most fun time of your elementary days and our kids are crying and not wanting to come to school. I’ve been teaching kindergarten for 7 years and I’ve never seen K kids seem so unhappy. Oh, and yes my assistant gives assessments, but I also have to so that they get done.

We have assessments that the district tells us to give, plus assessments that our school tells us to give. (PS those district assessments are another concern- YIKES.)

These all hit us at once in the month of January

Core Phonics, PAST, I-Ready, Sight words, Fountas/Pinnell, District Assessments

*I have noticed that this year, I have six kids who are considered Not Found on Fountas Pinnell- the most “Not Found”-ers I’ve ever had at this point in the year. That tells me that the lack of groups/increase in assessment is actually hurting my kids. Some of those are special cases, but as I reflect on them overall, this is the lowest reading levels I’ve had at this point in the year.*

Plus then entering all the data into the spreadsheets instead of planning for future lessons.

I just feel like I can’t keep up- like I’m juggling and balls keep getting thrown at me.


3. Staff Concern - "Why did we start new assessments in the middle of the year?"
4. Staff Concern - "Why were teachers not included in the development of the common assessments?"
5. Staff Concern "Why should I give common assessments instead of my own assessments?"
6. Staff Concern - "Why are teachers giving a grade for formative assessments?"

Formative assessment should not be a grade!  This is what the experts teach and the way we have been trained.  

7. Staff Concern - "Can you share district-wide common assessment data so I can compare to my students' scores?

I wish I could see district common assessment data to compare scores in order to determine to students’  proficiency.

8. Staff Concern - "Why is there no flexibility with curriculum timelines?"
9. Staff Concern - "Why are we reinventing the wheel with reading logs?"

Teachers have been implementing reading logs for many years.  Why is this suddenly a novel idea?  Rather than spending money for prizes and Plinko boards, why weren’t community supported programs utilized?  Pizza Hut offers the Book-It program free of charge every year to school.  They offer coupons for free personal pan pizzas for students completing the program as set forth by the classroom teacher

10. Staff Concern - "Why are we losing planning periods for trainings?"

We are now attending an additional PLC meeting with Mrs. Godbey.  This means that we are losing two planning times on the weeks that she is in the building.  These meetings are a repeat of strategies that have already been presented through a wide variety of district trainings (Kagan, Whole Brain, etc).

11. Staff Concern - "Why have teachers not been trained on the collection and entering of data for RTI?"

Teachers are not trained (or at least I wasn't) in how the district wants RTI data collected and documented.  I have been given different answers by different people on how it should be done.  I would have liked a training at some point before a school year started on exactly what is expected in this area so that my time was not wasted.

12. Staff Concern - "Why is more being placed on teachers and nothing taken away?"

More and More and More is being placed upon classroom teachers, yet NOTHING is being taken away.  Our students are suffering!  They are not getting the best of us…they are getting what’s left of us.  

13. Staff Concern - "Why not start new initiatives during the summer and provide training before schools starts?"
14. Staff Concern - "Why do we try new things before giving enough time to see if our current things are working?"

I am concerned about the consistency.  We keep trying new things and not giving enough time for things to work before it is changed again.  It would be better to do a few things well instead of trying to do so many things half way. I feel we are spread so thin that we are unable to provide the best instruction to our students. 

15. Staff Concern - "If our local board cannot or will not make the decision to close McKinney, is it possible to get help from the state in getting this done?"
16. Staff Concern - "Is there anything teachers can do to help push forward the idea of closing McKinney Elementary?"
17. Staff Concern - "Can we conduct a survey to gather input from across the district about district folks’ feelings toward closing McKinney?"
18. Staff Concern - "Is paying retired teachers for their accumulated sick days at retirement state mandated or up to each district?"

If up to our district, will our district still be able to afford to pay retired teachers for their accumulated sick days when they retire?

19. Staff Concern - "Will we receive a lump sum payout for sick days that are accrued after 2018?"

Will personal days still roll over? What problems does the board foresee with this for the district?

20. Staff Concern - "Will elementary schools keep Instructional Coach positions next year or will those be more positions our school will have to absorb?
21. Staff Concern - "What is the job and position of instructional coaches in the eyes of the superintendent?"
22. Staff Concern - "Will “Guest Teachers for Spain” be affected by current budget issues?"
23. Staff Concern - "Is there any way to more evenly distribute the cuts that are being handed out?"
24. Staff Concern - "Is there a way to ensure that laundering services continue?"
25. Staff Concern - "How do we rank in terms of the amount of paid positions at the Student Support Center (both certified and classified) with districts similar in size?"
26. Staff Concern - "With many positions created at the Student Support Center last year, will any of these positions be looked at because of our budget?"
27. Staff Concern - "Do the surrounding districts have similar staffing as our Student Support Center?"
28. Staff Concern - "Can students be trained to help with tech issues in the school?"
29. Staff Concern - "Will the district provide support in developing tech lesson plans for Chromebooks?"

Technology: ¾ of the school will have Chromebooks and we do not have anyone in place that can fix tech problems in real time.  Teachers are briefly trained at the start of the year concerning technology, but nothing more.  Teachers need guidance on how to plan tech lessons. We need support systems concerning our new technology in house to help, not just PD days or faculty meetings. 

30. Staff Concern - "How did Lincoln County get in the mess we are in financially?"

I know the state is cutting funds, but I don’t see surrounding districts making drastic staff cuts. 

31. Staff Concern - "Do we have concrete factual information that can be presented to show how our school district got into such a troubling financial situation?"
32. Staff Concern - Why is there a lack of equity for positions at schools?

  • Middle school has two librarians but Highland/Waynesburg/McKinney share one librarian.  The high school has one librarian.
  • The same is true with RTI positions. 
  • McKinney has two RTI teachers for 125 kids.  Highland and Waynesburg both have one.

33. Staff Concern - "Will NTI days continue next year?"
34. Staff Concern - "Why do classified assistants have to work during NTI days grading packets while teachers are safe at home answering phone calls?"

feel as though they are not valued, that they have 20 people waiting in line to take their jobs. NTI expectations for certified/classified is not equitable. As classified assistants have to grade all packets and work their time while teachers are safe at home answering phone calls. This was all the concerns I have received at this time.

35. Staff Concern - "Why do schools have to pick up the transportation costs for in-county field trips?"

Field trip costs should be covered for in county field trips.  It is ridiculous that it costs us $100 to take a group of 4th graders from Stanford Elementary to the high school to support our middle school students at their plays.  It is also unfair for the schools that are farther away and have to pay more than we do.

It is absolutely crazy that we have to pay the cost of this for a driver to take us to the high school auditorium for a middle school play for example.  It is an in county trip where we are supporting our own students and we have to pay an awful cost just to go as well as the kids have to pay the ticket cost.  Yes they should pay for the ticket to see the play but our grade level and our school should NOT have to pay for a bus, driver, and expenses for an in county trip that supports our own county students.  It costs us a fortune to go on a field trip and the paperwork and map idea is a lot of work.  You have made the process of a fun field trip almost not even worth it to go.

I would hope you would reconsider this and try to help support the students in a much more feasible manner.

36. Staff Concern - "Why are parents/students taking staff parking spaces in the morning and evenings?"

Parking/Buses is an issue because our MS/HS students/parents are taking parking spots for staff as well as causing traffic issues in the mornings. The MS/HS students will get out of a vehicle on the main road to get on buses or park at houses across the road from school. (Delbert Ruckel does occasionally park across from the school or on 27 to help buses get out.) They also park in staff spots in mornings waiting to get on buses, which causes our staff members not to have a parking spot in the mornings. 

We also have issues in the afternoons when they get off the buses to switch. The students wonder around in the parking lot until they have to get back on the bus to leave Waynesburg.

37. Staff Concern - "Why does our cafeteria run out of food on a daily basis?"

Our cafeteria is running out of food on a daily basis. Our students have to sit and wait for more food to be cooked or their food is served to them instead of serving themselves like other students. This is typically occurring during the last lunch, which is 4th grade students (who need larger portions that K) and they are not getting as much food as others are. 

38. Staff Concern - "Why did we add the two snow days at the end of the calendar (instead of at least taking the March date) so we could have more instructional days prior to KREP?"
39. Staff Concern - "Are Lincoln County teachers planning a town hall or rally to support educational agendas in the upcoming budget?"

I would just like to know if Lincoln County teachers anywhere are planning a town hall or rally to support educational agendas in the upcoming budget. I am very concerned about the future of insurance benefits and just saw that we may lose funding in several other vital areas. I know our KEA reps are on top of this, but wondering what others are saying.

40. Adjourn