It’s not just athletes who need coaches. At a meeting last Tuesday, the Cody School Board voted to use federal funds to add a math and literacy coach for the district teachers.
The coaches will play a similar, though narrower, role in the district to the instructional facilitators the board recently cut. They will operate at the elementary level and work with teachers to improve their methods in the classroom.
“We were concerned about continuing support for teachers having eliminated the (instructional facilitator) positions,” superintendent Peg Monteith said. “To ensure we have the very best instruction in front of our students every day is really important and we felt like this was a good use of those funds.”
The positions are being paid for through Title IIA funds, grant money from the federal government meant to be used for, among other things, professional development in the classroom. The amount of money received through that program can vary, but assistant superintendent Tim Foley said the district planned to continue having the positions “as long as Title II funds are available and the district finds these positions to be effective.”
In addition to the two coaches, the district also discussed adding a position at Cody High School through money received from the coronavirus stimulus packages. It was a struggle at times for the district to find substitute teachers last year, and out of that dilemma the district increased the pay rate for substitutes. Another method the district is considering to deal with the challenge of bringing in substitute teachers is hiring a sort of permanent substitute teacher, one who would primarily work in Cody High School but could go to the other schools as well.
This would be a full-time classified position, though the person would have a teaching certificate. It would help ensure the district had better coverage of classes and did not have to merge classes or that other teachers would not be pulled from their planning periods to cover an absence.
Human resources head Chynna Singer noted that this was not an original idea and that Jackson has one of these positions in each of that district’s schools
“It would be a great opportunity for somebody that is maybe fresh out of school (and) they’re trying to get their foot into the district,” Singer said. “It gives them that opportunity to get into classrooms and see how things are working, how our district works, and get some of that experience if they weren’t able to secure a job right out of school.”
As with the coaching positions, this position would be paid for with federal grant funds. That means it would be a temporary position the district would have to reassess after those funds run out. The board has not yet voted on the position.