Board discusses substitute teacher pay rate, new music courses
Opening the public forum, West Valley Teachers Association President Amy Butler told the board about her concern regarding the substitute teacher pay rate, which was approved to be $70 per diem per certified teachers and $60 per diem per uncertified teachers, at the reorganization meeting.
Butler said, “I started subbing 20 some years ago here. I was making almost as much then as you are paying subs now. I was wondering if you would consider looking at that to increase your pool of substitutes because we are lagging behind [in the number of substitute teachers].
“Seventy dollars for a certified sub is lower than most of our neighbors and there are days that our sub caller struggles to get people to come in because they’re being used elsewhere.” She added that the sub pay rate has been a “static number” for some time now and asked the board members to think about the ramifications of not increasing the pay amount.
In another matter, Principal Daniel Amodeo reported that the school will be offering two new music courses for half a credit during the upcoming school year: music theory I and composition I.
“[As a result of] conversations with the school counselor, music teachers and some community members, it has been brought up that sometimes our students don’t have the resume that other students have when they want to look at college in the future for participating in a music program,” he said. “One of the basic courses that they are lacking that we don’t offer is a music theory or a composition course that they would be able to have that may allow some advantage in reaching their dreams, goals and aspirations.”
Amodeo said that these courses will “allow the students to have opportunities to compete in a better situation than they had been in the past if they had access to these courses.”
The principal passed out an outline of the courses for board members and the public to view, and newly-elected Board Member Mary Fleischman asked if the designation “guitar and/or piano” in music elements meant that the composition class will allow students to learn how to play the guitar.
Amodeo said, “That may be a part of his class for composition. He’s talking to us about [students’] knowing their music and creating music in there.”
Fleischman asked, “So this is for kids that already have a good foundation in music?”
The principal said he and the composition teacher have talked about who would be eligible to take the class. “It would be open to all the students, but obviously students that have a stronger background in music would probably be able to catch on quicker than students that may have not.”
Fleischman said she was confused, because “music theory and composition is usually a much more advanced music class. Will the class be for the advanced musicians?”
Amodeo answered, “It’s going to be an elective, so it’s not excluding any students that don’t otherwise choose the class. It will differentiate that instruction for those students based on what their skill level is and what their proficiency is. It’s not going to be an excluded class where it’s only going to be open to students who take band [and other music courses].
“Whatever introductory level that we can provide for the students here, it would be able to [help the students] transition to college.”
In other matters:
- The board approved motions for a list of substitute teachers, aides, nurses, clerical, bus drivers, cleaners and monitors for the 2012-13 school year.
- The board also approved a motion for a list of mentor volunteers.
- April Preston was named the athletic director and Kimberly Lewis was approved to be the dean for the upcoming school year.
- James Boberg and Michael Parish will be school constables.
- The board approved a list of out of school tutors.
- A motion to approve a list of advisors, coordinators and assistants was passed.
- Diana Frank was named the girl’s varsity volleyball head coach and Butler was approved to be the modified girls head coach. Steve Kenworthy will be the girls varsity soccer coach, and the modified girls soccer coach will be Cara Abbey. Kristopher Fuller was approved to be the boys varsity soccer coach.
- Leanna Pfeffer will be the school’s substitute caller in the upcoming year.
- The board passed a motion approving the West Valley Central School District’s Response to Intervention Plan.
- Board members Michael Frascella, Teaseleman Jackson-McCarthy and Fleischman will serve as the board of education committee representatives to visit the school and report on its condition.
- The school library will be open for 1 1/2 hours to the community on Tuesday evenings during the summer and school year.
- Frascella was appointed to be a part of the Energy Conservation Committee, along with the business official/treasurer and Bill Sloand.
- The board approve d a motion to allow a JCC economics course to be offered to juniors and seniors.
- The board approved a motion that allows all students and athletes to use the weight room, locker room and fields Monday – Friday, as well as the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 – 8 p.m. July 5 – Aug. 17.
- The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 23 at 7 p.m.