School Board to improve instructional quality of teachers through creation of 14 new Specialist positions

The Natchitoches Parish School Board approved a new position and job description for 14 new Instructional Specialists at its meeting on March 4. The timetable to start advertising statewide is March 7. There will be two informational meetings on April 9 and April 12 for any local employees interested in applying. Then dates will be set for interviews.

According to Natchitoches Parish School Superintendent Dr. Grant Eloi the biggest issue for the district is that there are a lot of employees who aren’t certified to teach and need help with the teaching profession.

Helping these people will be the main job description for the Instructional Specialists because teachers need support. They will also run the PLCs by looking at formative assessments and finding ways for consistent improvement.

These will be 9 month positions with 10 extra days. Salaries will be based on teacher pay scale plus a $10,000 addendum. The addendum amount was chosen after careful consideration and discussion with other administrators.

Natchitoches Central will have 3, LP Vaughn will have 2 and other schools will have one. These are based off of population numbers at the schools. The district currently has two employees working in this role.

Once every two weeks they will meet with the Central Office’s Curriculum team to ensure they’re on the right path. Their first task will be to create proficiency exams that will be given every nine weeks to see where our students are. These assessments have to be content and grade specific and they have to be truly aligned to the LEAP test.

Business Affairs Supervisor Lee Waskom will chart the finances for 14 additional positions, which includes taking current employees and giving them the stipend as well. Waskom will look at what impact this will have.These additional positions will cost the district $1,387,000, which includes their payroll, stipend, matching sales tax money, and everything else. Of this total, $250,000 will come through Title 1 funding and $500,000 is part of a Redesign initiative by State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley.

“We will be coming almost $1 million more efficient with our current payroll and realigning certain things,” said Waskom. “This action will actually save the general budget $328,000.”

Waskom added that the district is administratively high in some of its schools and they’re becoming efficient as they create better leaders so they can actually save substantially.

“We’re not going to go out there to roll heads or anything,” he added. “It’s nothing like that. It’s just creating through attrition a natural efficiency in our current operations.”

Eloi elaborated by saying this is abiding by district policy staffing formulas and addressing these correctly through attrition. What’s happened in the past is in previous administrations, you add positions and you think you’re just doing a nickel here a dime here, but they add up over time to the tune of millions of dollars.

“We’re just making a commitment to follow our staffing policy fully and make sure at the same time that we’re also still giving the same support to our schools that they need.”

A component of the positions will be looking at literacy across the content areas and making sure standards are aligned so that we are making sure students can read no matter what age level they are.

3 thoughts on “School Board to improve instructional quality of teachers through creation of 14 new Specialist positions

    • Haven’t you been keeping up? Certified teachers are in short supply in Louisiana and have been going on ten years now.

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