Friday, May 22, 2009

Flabbergasted by SCDSB trustees

I had not planned on posting again until Monday, but I couldn't resist when I saw this this go up thanks to Nathan Taylor at the Orillia Packet and Times (once again scooping the Barrie paper).
Most of the story focuses on very operational-level stuff, with some insight into the reading recovery program that is also in the budget mix.
A staff recommendation and some support it's getting is mind-boggling.
To save about $240,000, trustees are being asked to approve a measure that would see principals at schools with less than 200 students take on teaching responsibilities for an average of one day a week.
“I think it’s in the best interest of the students to not have principals teaching,” said Jodi Lloyd, trustee for Ramara, Severn and Tay townships.
Many of the smaller schools don’t have vice-principals, so to take their principals out of the office even for a day is a concern, she said.
Lloyd said she has received complaints from parents, saying “principals are pulled out of the schools an awful lot” as it is to attend off-site meetings and functions. If they assume teaching duties, “I’m worried we’re asking a lot of them.”
The solution to that is simple, said Orillia trustee Debra Edwards.
“We simply won’t ask principals to attend so many meetings out of their schools,” she said.
The “teaching principals,” as they’re being referred to, will be at schools that don’t have the enrolment to warrant full-time principals, she said.
"In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be necessary. It is necessary,” Edwards said. “We are still wrestling with the sustainability of small schools.”

OK, I could be wrong on this and it's too late and I'm too tired to check. When the school foundation grant was created, it was meant to address school-level costs not adequately funded by per-pupil funding in smaller schools. It's a per-school grant to cover the cost of a full-time administrator, secretary and custodial top-up, in addition to some other items.
So is the Simcoe County board proposing taking part of this per-school funding to turn their full-time principals into 0.8 FTE principals in these smaller schools?
Is this happening anywhere else? I had thought the "teaching principal" had disappeared from the lexicon of Ontario elementary schools three or four years ago.
I will update this post Monday if there are any corrections needed.


Anonymous said...

the link's not working

Anonymous said...

You're right about the foundation grant Ed. Reporter, and you ask the right question about how the money might or might not be being used in this case.

We need to determine how "small" are the "small schools" we're talking about in Simcoe?

Maybe instead of reading recovery another program should be considered to help more kids read?

Given that in 2009 this board had
131 administrators earning over $200K(up from 94 the previous year and up from just 11 in 2003), I wonder about the whole "teaching principal" role too.

Shouldn't a good manager be able to manage more than one small school?

Given the amount of time principals are away from their schools anyway seems that the necessity of one principal per school has proved a very expensive proposition for the gov't.

Doesn't it stand to reason that if enrollments are falling that the number of administrators should be falling too? Why does it take more folks at the MOE, boards and schools to manage fewer children?

Don't tell math?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't a good manager be able to manage more than one small school? Or, put VPs in the several schools with one Principal to oversee a "family of schools." Seriously, what is the difference between a P and a VP.

Anonymous said...

Who evaluates principals?

Anonymous said...