Bridgeville Events
Thursday, December 30th, 1999
 
Woodbridge votes on tuition reimbursement
By Bill McCauley
The Woodbridge School Board, at a recent meeting, voted to extend tuition-reimbursement for a total amount of $8700 annually to non-teacher employees to include cafeteria workers, custodians and secretaries. The funding will come from local money.
For several years teachers have had the advantage of tuition-reimbursement to the total amount annually of $8700.
The Woodbridge school district currently employs approximately 250 people, half of whom are administration and teachers. Expansion of help in continued learning to a larger base of employees would enable individual workers to continue training and secure certification in their respective fields.
In other action following debate, the school board took favorable action toward implementing block scheduling at the high school level next September. Classes would double in length from the present 45 minutes. That would in turn necessitate half as many classes per subject.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Carson stated that it would enable teachers to move on from the traditional lecture and question and answer format to student-challenged learning experiences. These would include individual and group research projects and hands-on learning experiences.
"No teacher can lecture 90 minutes," said Carson. The answer, he said, was to utilize other proven methods of teaching from H.S.T.W. (High Schools That Work). H.S.T.W. principles are used by the Southern Regional Education Board (S.R.E.B.) based in Atlanta, Ga.
Other members of S.R.E.B. include Sussex Tech, Polytech in Kent County and one other of the 19 school districts in Delaware, in addition to Woodbridge.
S.R.E.B.'s teaching techniques lend themselves well to double-length, half as frequent class periods of block scheduling that allows a greater variety of student learning experiences and teacher-guided activities. They are especially beneficial to the young person at risk.
Critical to the successful implementation of block scheduling are three facets: board funded instructional supplies; administration supported structure and time for teachers to meet together to facilitate integration of learning between subjects, especially core subjects; and staff development entailing the equivalent of several days training per year in order to reorient teachers' instructional methods.
High Schools That Work principles utilize techniques that more actively involve and challenge the youngster as opposed to the more passive lecture and textbook approach.