The Pleasant Valley School District board of directors is considering raising pay for substitute teachers.
Carole Geary, superintendent, introduced a survey of substitute teacher rates throughout the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 districts. The rates vary from a low of $70 (Pen Argyl) to a high of $100 at some other schools like Pocono Mountain and Bethlehem Vo-Tech. PV pays $80 a day.
Board member Sue Kresge said she heard that several of PV's specialist teachers are being pulled in to act as substitute teachers because they can't find substitutes. She wanted to know how often that happens.
Director Len Peeters said he heard the same thing.
"Specialists shouldn't be pulled in to act as substitutes and taken away from their duties. If we raised our pay to $100 a day, do you think it would make a difference?"
Geary said she didn't know if it would help or not. She understood from what she had heard at a substitute fair that Pocono Mountain pays $100 a day now because substitutes can only be hired for three days a week. Because of the new health care system, the districts keep their substitutes under 30 hours a week, otherwise they would have to be paid benefits.
The board will consider whether or not to raise the substitute rate. Susan Famularo, PVSD business manager, said she would look into how often specialists were called in to act as substitute teachers.
Geary presented a draft of the 2014-2015 school year calendar. As presented, the proposed first day of school would be Sept. 2 and the last day, June 4 with a tentative commencement date of June 12.
Bill Gethen was appointed as an Authority Member to Monroe County Technical Institute, with the term expiring December 2018.
The board approved, 8-0, the high school program of studies for 2014-2015.
Director Steve Borger had some concerns over the physical education/health education course length. Geary said that when the program of studies was restructured, the physical education credits went from eight to six credits but students can take elective courses.
Peeters asked how many students take the business courses and John Gress, PVHS principal said about 50. Peeters said he thought all high school students should take at least one business class to help them in just day-to-day business transactions like how to handle a checkbook.
The board approved, 8-0 (with Dominick Sacci absent):
Ÿ Hiring Kim Economy as a substitute teacher-special education/homebound; Carol Staats as long-term substitute teacher for PVE Kelly McElmoyle, effective Feb. 11 at $40,900 prorated; David Weidner as substitute teacher-art/paraprofessional associate; Gabriel White as substitute monitor
Ÿ Resignations of Nicole Cohen, PVI part-time paraprofessional associate, effective Jan. 23, 2014; Rebecca Martini, PVMS long-term substitute teacher, effective Dec. 20, 2013; Zaida Polanco, PVMS part-time paraprofessional associate, effective Dec. 20, 2013; Ann Quinn-May, PVE part-time paraprofessional associate, effective Jan. 9, 2014 but remain on the substitute teacher/paraprofessional associate list.
Ÿ Transfer of Irene Hackett, paraprofessional associate/part-time from PVHS to PVMS, effective Jan. 10