UDPATE: Whispering Pines Elementary Violating Dept. Of Ed. Rules

News Palm Beach County Schools

Teacher in question not in class on Monday.

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — We have an update to our story regarding The Palm Beach County School District’s inability to provide a gifted endorsed teacher to Whispering Pines Elementary School following the mid-year promotion of another gifted teacher to an administrative role.

As we reported Friday: the school district is scrambling to find a suitable replacement for a crisis of its own making — the promotion of a teacher in the middle of the year. The teacher — gifted and math endorsed — was promoted to an administrative position with the school district. His class — a fourth grade gifted “AMP” (advanced math) class — was off the charts. Fourth graders performing at a late fifth grade level in math, and many at a sixth grade level for reading. Their teacher’s last day was Friday.

We reported on Friday that the school district assigned two NON-gifted endorsed teachers to the room as replacements, each working part of the day. The plan: one teacher — with advanced math certification — would handle math. Another teacher, with NO active endorsements and only holding a temporary teaching certificate, would teach reading. But the school district misrepresented the “reading” teacher’s training, licensing and endorsements in a letter sent to parents. There has been no retraction.

That teacher did not appear in the classroom on Monday, her first day in her new role.

Palm Beach County School District officials were provided an advance copy of the story that BocaNewsNow.com ran Friday night.

No one raised objections or issues with the reporting. Late Monday, however, the following requests were made for clarification. We are happy to oblige in the interest of clarity:

Glenda Sheffield, Ed.D., is a senior administrator with the Palm Beach County School District but — despite comments by other administrators — is not in a position to oversee gifted teacher assignments. She forwarded all complaints to Deputy Superintendent Keith Oswald who has had no communication with parents on the issue.

School District officials, who repeatedly told BocaNewsNow.com that Whispering Pines Principal Barbara Riemer was responsible for not locating a full time gifted endorsed teacher, now say that Ms. Riemer “professionally” handled the situation.

A third issue involves “out of field” notification — an official notification that a school district must make to parents if teachers are teaching “out of field.” A school district representative states that the school district must only notify parents twice a year. The Florida Department of Education, however, says the school district must notify parents — and provide alternate options to them — a matter of weeks after a new teacher starts or is announced. That has not happened. To the contrary, school officials stated a teacher has certification that she does not.

From the Florida Department of Education’s own Q&A section on “out of field” notifications:

Q-01. Is the requirement for the district to post out-of-field teachers on the district website in addition to the requirement to provide notice to the parents of the students in the class?
A-01. The requirement for the district to report the out-of-field teachers on the district website is in addition to notifying the parents of all students in the class in writing.
Q-02. Is the 30 days accrued as calendar days or school days?
A-02. 30 calendar days.
Q-03. Should the district post the out-of-field teachers prior to the board’s approval?
A-03. Under rule 6A-1.0503, F.A.C., a district may only hire an out-of-field teacher who has been approved by the school board or charter school governing board to teach out-of- field after determination that a teacher with appropriate certification coverage is not available; therefore, posting the assignment prior to board approval would be premature.
Q-04. What if the district hires a teacher or makes an out-of-field assignment less than 30 days before the semester?
A-04. A district must post known out-of-field teachers on the district’s website within 30 days before the beginning of each semester. If a district hires an out-of-field teacher or if a teacher becomes out-of-field after that date (because, for example, an ELL has been placed in his/her class), they must promptly update the website posting.



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