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Watkins teacher proposes substitute changes

    WATKINS GLEN—Fifth grade teacher Alice Conklin suggested program changes to improve the effectiveness of substitute teachers, during the Monday, June 18, Watkins Glen school board meeting.
    Investigating substitute teaching was her senior teacher project.  Conklin said many states have laws in place governing substitute teachers, but New York is not one of them.  Board President Brian O’Donnell said other districts usually have different procedures and rules that substitute teachers are expected to know.
    She surveyed full-time and substitute teachers to find out what concerns both groups had.  Conklin said regular teachers had a hard time getting the substitute they wanted to fill in for them.
    On the other side, she added substitutes had concerns about what they were expected to know about a district within a short period of time.  Conklin explained substitutes who come to Watkins get a large packet of information before starting the day that covers needed information.  She made a briefer version of that packet.
    Another suggestion she had was a list of emergency procedures printed on a small piece of paper that would be included with a staff necklace badge.
    In other business:
    • The board recognized Robert Dill, board member, and Sharon Clark, district clerk, who are both retiring.
    • Student athletes Halle Phillips, Sarah Wickham, and Charles Bascom were honored for making it to the state championships in girls golf and boys track.
    • Superintendent Tom Phillips said the district will need to make changes to the school policy based on the state’s Dignity for all Students Act, which is an anti-bullying law.  However, he said he received an email that day reporting another bill possibly being approved by the state in the following days that would require more changes to the district’s policies.




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