Middle school music, tech staff changes won’t affect programs
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” One unlicensed music teacher will not be returning to Glenwood Springs Middle School this fall, and a technology teacher has volunteered to spend nonteaching time away from school.
Still, the school’s music and technology programs will continue at their current levels, according to assistant principal Robert Faris.
At a school accountability meeting last Thursday, parent Laura Porterfield and two other parents in attendance learned of the reductions in staff.
However, Faris explained that no programs would be cut as a result.
That news eased Porterfield’s concerns.
“The rumors start up and the kids start to panic,” Porterfield said. “We just want to make sure our kids are getting the best of what they need.”
Music will continue ” and tech, too
Faris explained the school’s vocal music, speech and drama teacher will be leaving her position at the end of the school year. The teacher is not licensed to teach in Colorado, and according to Colorado Department of Education law, all public school teachers in the state are required to be fully licensed and accredited.
Faris said an emergency licensure provision allows nonlicensed teachers to teach up to three years, while they work to get a license.
But the nonrenewed middle school teacher did not obtain that license.
As a “big time fan of the arts,” Faris said he and school staff are looking at ways for language arts teachers to incorporate speech and drama into their curriculum. Faris said language arts teachers at the district’s other schools already are responsible for these subject areas.
Faris said it’s still unclear how the school’s vocal music program will be conducted, but that vocal music education will continue at the middle school.
“Our band teacher is not affected by this,” Faris said.
“Our students coming from Sopris and Glenwood elementary schools already have strong music education,” Faris said. “We’re not losing music.”
And, one of the school’s technology teachers is going from full- to half-time. Faris said that decision was reached after the teacher volunteered to do lesson planning and organizing work away from school grounds.
“That won’t affect the teacher’s time with students,” Faris added.
‘Kids deserve the best’
Faris said, like all schools in the district and the state, Glenwood Middle School uses a staffing formula based on demographics and student enrollment counts taken the previous fall.
Last October, that formula indicated that reductions in staff could be accomplished while retaining the level of educational programming at the school.
“All our schools go through a change in demographics,” Faris said. “But personnel changes don’t mean that we’re changing what we’re offering the kids.”
For Porterfield, the bottom line is that students continue to receive a wide range of learning opportunities.
“Our kids deserve the best,” she said. “And our community suffers if they don’t receive it.”
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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