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NISD board invests in homegrown teachers

November 15, 2023 - 00:00
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Navasota Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a program that will allow the district to develop teachers from within.

“Everyone in this room is obviously aware that for quite some time we have had a teacher shortage in the state,” said NISD Director of Personnel and Administrative Services, Derek Bowman. He said since 2014 the state has seen a 27% decrease in certified teachers.

Teachworthy is a program that not only allows teachers to obtain their certification, but also allows staff to attend college to become a teacher while still working within the district. The program partners with Indiana Wesleyan University.

Bowman said the program allows educational aids, receptionists, or other staff that are aspiring teachers to participate in the program and become teachers. Teachworthy is an alternative education program that has been around for 30-plus years from San Antonio.

Through the program, participants may earn one of three degrees through IWU — a bachelor’s degree in early childhood teaching, elementary (EC-6th) or secondary training. Bowman said because of NISD being a District of Innovation (DOI) they currently have some Instructional Aides teaching classes.

Bowmen said through this program, those aides have the opportunity to make more money, and the district is able to save some money. They can become a “classroom instructor” who would be overseen by a certified teacher who serves as a mentor or teacher of record for that classroom.

The district has several details to layout for the program but could choose to revise plans from another district that has plans already in place. Aspiring teachers will need to fill out an application and have a letter of recommendation by one of the school principals.

Bowman said the program is free to aspiring teachers and the only cost to the person participating in the program is the cost of the Teacher Certification Test at the end of the program, which is approximately $3,000 and may be directly withdrawn from checks over time.

The district is working to put together more information to present to potential teacher candidates and participants could begin classes in Spring 2024.

A-F Ratings

A Travis County judge ruled to block the release of the Texas Education Agency’s A-F Ratings due to multiple districts suing TEA.

The lawsuits claim the new rating formula can actually lower district grades even though students improved from the previous year. The release of the ratings are blocked until at least February 2024.

Other action

•Approved Region ESC 6 eContracts.

• Approved Grimes County and Brazos County 2023 Tax Rolls.

• Approved Tech Apps Adoption Committee Members.