Thursday, September 10 2009
The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) is implementing a program to address issues at three schools designated by the state department of education as chronically underperforming. Educators have voted in favor of what the corporation calls the Equity School Concept, which will investigate the needs of each of the schools. EVSC Superintendent Vince Bertram says the schools are in need of fundamental change if educators are going to make a difference with the students.
Educators in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation have voted in favor of the adoption of the Equity School Concept in three EVSC schools – Delaware Elementary, Howard Roosa Elementary, and McGary Middle School. The concept was developed by EVSC personnel and Evansville Teachers Association leadership. Voting through the Evansville Teachers Association took place for the past several days and was completed on Sept 2.
Excellence and Quality Unite in Transforming Youth will investigate the individual needs of each of the schools, which have been identified by the state Department of Education as chronically underperforming schools.
“We must fundamentally change these schools if we are to make a difference for our children,” said Superintendent Vince Bertram during a news conference on Friday (9-4-09). Bertram explained that Equity Schools will include a professional development academy that trains educators for these schools, a longer school year and a change in the structure of the school day.
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett believes that in many cases innovation is necessary for improvement. “The leadership of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in the quest for student success is well documented,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett. “When I look at districts that are known for innovation, the EVSC is one that always is at the front of my mind.”
In order to work at one of these schools, an individual must have successfully completed the professional development academy that will be offered from October 2009 through December 2009 – for a total of 40 hours of training. Participation in this academy is by application and approximately 150 teachers, administrators and counselors will be selected. After completing the academy, teachers will be able to teach in an Equity School, or have the opportunity to take the knowledge gained in the academy out to other schools and build capacity throughout the corporation.
Evansville Teachers Association President Keith Gambill said the program will devote more resources “to teachers in the classroom who understand the children they serve each day.” Applications for participation in the Equity Schools Academy were sent today to administrators, teachers and counselors in the corporation. Individuals will be selected to participate based on responses the employees submit on their application.
Bertram said additional days of instruction and a longer time in the classroom, would be a benefit to students and will be employed at these schools. Teachers and administrators will work collaboratively to determine the school’s structure.
Educators selected for these positions will be compensated for the additional time and effort required to address the needs of our students in these schools. The EVSC is hopeful that these efforts undertaken by these innovative schools will be acknowledged by the awarding of Race to the Top funding, provided through the federal government for innovations in education. “This funding is critical if we are to sustain the expected ground-breaking results that our students and community deserve,” Gambill said.
Source: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation & Inside INdiana Business http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=37567