Attachment: BFT Workshop.pdf
Chairman John Craig welcomed the representatives from Brevard Federation of Teachers and explained that this is a unique opportunity. He turned the meeting over to Dan Bennett, president of Brevard Federation of Teachers.
Mr. Bennett began with the substitute situation from a teacher's point of view. He also stated that BFT wanted to get some information from principals as well as teachers. Dr. Mullins collected that information from principals at a principals meeting. He provided survey results from both elementary and secondary teachers, and provided teacher concerns.
Dr. Mullins met with secondary principals and they used a variety of strategies to meet substitute needs. The impact of splitting classes varies by school.
Mr. Bennett explained that some elementary schools lend themselves more to splitting classes than others. For example, if there are numerous classes of the same grade level and students are split among them all, the impact is less. He has also heard that when classes are split there are sometimes not even enough seats for all of the extra students.
Mr. Bennett continued that when instructional assistants are used for coverage, that means that some students are missing out on services and the trend is getting worse.
Vanessa Skipper, second vice-president of BFT, commented that it is detrimental to subs when they don't get a planning time. Chairman Craig said that we have to make sure whatever we do is best for students and followed up with the question to BFT representatives, "What should we do?" Mr. Bennett provided a general statement, "The best thing is to not split classes and keep children in his/her classroom. Mr. Anthony Colucci, first vice-president of BFT, stated that the best option is to have a retired teacher in the classroom.
Ms. Belford asked what we should do when we can't get a qualified substitute in the classroom rather than split classes. Ms. Skipper said that principals, assistant principals and guidance counselors could cover classrooms rather than split them.
Dr. Blackburn asked if BFT had any suggestions of how we could attract more subs to which Mr. Bennett replied, Increase pay." Mr. Craig said that it might be beneficial to look at best practices in other districts.