EPISD to redistribute high school teaching facilitators

EPISD to redistribute high school teaching facilitators
The School Yard

POSTED: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 6:22pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 8:53pm

The El Paso Independent School District Board of Managers is moving forward with a plan to redistribute teacher instructional coaches.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. James Steinhauser told the board the changes come amid lackluster reading scores from younger students.

Steinhauser said roughly 37 employees from the district’s Curriculum and Instruction Department, known as C&i, would be affected as the district shifts its focus from high school to pre-k through 2nd grade instruction.

C&i employees currently help train teachers mostly at the secondary level.

The details of their new assignments remain to be seen, though some could become teachers, Steinhauser told NewsChannel 9.

The C&i department would dissolve under the reorganization, saving the district $600,000, according to EPISD officials.

Cynthia Ontiveros, a C&i employee, told the board she is willing to adapt for the good the district.

“We understand that change is inevitable,” she said. “We all recognize that in order to move forward, change must take place.”

Norma De la Rosa, President of the El Paso Teachers Association called the changes “disturbing” and said pulling employees from C&i will make the jobs of high school math and science teachers more difficult next school year when the state switches to new textbooks.

De la Rosa also expressed concern that those affected were not aware of the plan until it was posted on the board of managers meeting agenda.

“This whole proposal was put together with no input from the (C&i) department,” she said.

Before the board voted to approve the plan, Board Secretary Carmen Arretia-Candelaria said given EPISD’s scandal-plagued past, transparency is important.

“I understand why we’re doing this,” she said, “but we really need to do a good job of rolling this out to the employees, to the public, to those who are affected, and help them understand why we’re doing this.”

Board of Managers President Dee Margo asked Steinhauser if the changes had been discussed with C&i employees.

“No, not at all,” Steinhauser said. “We can’t go and talk about the structure until it’s approved by the board; we’re following the process.”

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