By Tony Farkas
SHEPHERD — The Shepherd ISD Board of Managers gave its consent Thursday to a plan that will allow employees further growth, creating its own labor pool of teachers in the process.
At its regular meeting, the board began to approve the measure even before the presentation, as Board Secretary Melodee Arrendell said they had read the information packet and was excited about the program.
The district will partner with Indiana Wesleyan University to offer a pathway for student teachers, teacher’s assistants and others to gain credit for work hours, as well as offer low-cost classes, with the goal of moving toward a degree and teacher certification while still working within the district.
Assistant Superintendent DeAnna Clavell said it’s conceivable that participants in the program can gain a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate for around $40,000.
The program dovetails with the District of Innovation Plan, which also was approved by the board and is set to begin in May.
Superintendent Jason Hewitt said that the district is considered a District of Innovation, and a plan for that must be approved every five years.
The plan includes using a calendar that allows flexibility for staff development; class size; instruction days; installing a behavior coordinator; probation periods; student transfers; and allowing a district to remove people exhibiting unruly behavior during meetings or events.
In other business, the board:
• discussed the JROTC program receiving certification from U.S. Armed Forces, which will provide funding for the program;
• approved a contract renewal for Tammie Hewitt as director of Elementary Teaching and Learning;
• approved a student summer work program; and
• approved credit by examination assessments for the Spanish programs.