Teachers to Get Heads Up on Problem Students

By Amy Claire

Antioch Unified School District teachers will be receiving information about students with a history of disciplinary problems, according to a new district policy.

“Teachers will be getting a hard copy notification of the three-year history of their students,” said Kevin McIntyre, Coordinator of Educational Technology, at the February 8 meeting of the AUSD School Board. These lists will include only severe offenses.

An electronic three-year discipline history will also be available on the Teacher Access Center, which district teachers currently use to take attendance and enter grades. The online history will include all offenses, not just severe ones, as well as comments about the nature of the incidents.

The district is also working on adding a feature that notifies teachers when their students’ records are updated. “We’re aiming to have that up and running for the next school year,” said McIntyre. The notices would only be sent to the students’ current teachers.

Willie Mims, a representative of the East County NAACP, objected to the new system. “This policy really concerns me,” he said. “What kinds of safeguards are in place to protect the students?”

Mims also praised the proposed bond measure for renovating Antioch High School, saying, “I’m happy, and I hope that the bond passes, because that school needs some help. I’ve never come across a site that bad.”

Board Member Claire Smith defended AHS, stating that she has seen a large number of high schools in the Bay Area while attending her children’s band-related activities. “Antioch High School looks fabulous compared to some,” she said. “I am grateful to our maintenance people.”

Later in the meeting, Mims expressed concern about the release of 57 temporary certificated employees. “That’s a huge number!” he said. “Isn’t that going to cause a shortfall?” He cited the caseload of a Deer Valley High School counselor as an example of the need for more staff members.

Keith Rogenski, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, replied that the temporary employees were hired to cover permanent employees’ leaves of absence and to fill other short-term positions. While the employees’ contracts with the district terminate at the end of each school year, they may be rehired for the following year if needs arise.

Antioch High teacher Sean O’Neil reported great success with the new media tech academy. “There’s some amazing stuff going on in the classrooms,” he said. However, he mentioned a need for more space. “There will be a point where we will be maxed out.” O’Neil also inquired about the effect on AHS from the potential closure of the G Street off ramp.

The next meetings of the school board will be held on February 22 and March 14 at 510 G Street in Antioch at 7:00 pm.

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