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News in Brief

EAGLE COUNTY The substitute teacher shortage just won’t go away: Schools in the Vail Valley have to figure out how to keep subs, make them want to work and find ways to bring new ones in.”We’re looking at incentives – maybe if you sub so many days, you get a higher pay rate,” said Mike Gass, director of secondary education for the Eagle County School District.The basic requirements are having a high school diploma, a substitute’s license and the number zero by your felony count, Gass said.A big part of retaining subs is making sure they feel appreciated at a school, said Philip Qualman, assistant principal at Battle Mountain High School in Eagle-Vail.”Our efforts here have been to give better support to the subs, making sure their lesson plans are comprehensive, especially with handling discipline problems, and making sure they know they’re backed up by others teachers and the administration,” Qualman said.The school district hopes to better market its need and reach out to mothers like substitute teacher Shelly Doyle, who might have kids in school and want a job with a similar schedule.”We’d also love to see retired people in the valley get into our schools,” Gass said.Part of that marketing will be letting people know that substitute teaching can be a great, fulfilling job for the right person.”I enjoy being around kids, and if you sub somewhere long enough, you become part of the school; they want you there,” Doyle said. (Vail Daily)

RIFLE At its regular school board meeting Tuesday night, Garfield School District Re-2 discussed issues surrounding a much-publicized fight between two Rifle High School students in February.The meeting felt more like a community pep rally. The consensus: Rifle is still a strong community, and it supports the staff and administration of the Re-2 schools.People addressed one another by first names at the meeting. Nearly 300 parents, students, faculty and staff, community members and neighbors attended to praise the school staff and administration for developing students into community leaders.RHS junior Adriane Maloney started off the evening by reading a letter she had written to the school board, thanking the members for their hard work.”Let’s put some blame on the outside world and not the school,” she said. RHS student body president Steve Samson said he’d congratulate anyone who could find a school without fights and racial issues. “Every school has these issues,” he said. “But look around. We respect each other.”Parents came to the meeting to show they have to be part of the solution.”When two people show up to the meetings, what can the school board do?” Sam Walls asked. “We’ve got to give them something to work with. I am excited to see all the kids here.””It’s unfortunate that it takes something like this to bring all these people out to a board meeting,” said school board president Jay Rickstrew. “I think that you saw from the students and staff that we took quick action. We still have work to do to address these issues, but we are working on them.” (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)


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