Board is briefed on effort to ease teachers' burden

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Howard County Board of Education heard a report during its meeting last night outlining efforts the school system has made to relieve overburdened teachers.

"Over the past three years, our standards and expectations have been raised because that's what our children need and deserve," Deputy Superintendent Kimberly Statham told the board, adding that "very often, it has required more work of our teachers and other staff."

In response to instructors' complaints and concerns, Statham said her staff initiated several changes over the summer, including:

Revamping the systemwide communications process to keep teachers better informed.

Finishing the conversion of the student support plans from handwritten documents to electronic files.

Reducing the number of times support plans are evaluated annually from four to three.

Beginning a phase-in process for using electronic report cards.

Noting that happier teachers make for more successful students, board Chairwoman Sandra H. French thanked Statham for her work: "It's for a good reason. It's helping our students achieve."

Another item that came before the board showed that Howard ranks 10th in the state for beginning teacher salaries, which start at $34,487. Montgomery County is first at $38,683, and Allegany County is last at $29,196.

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