By Elizabeth Perry
In addition to approving a proposed 2022-2023 budget May 19, directors at Sto-Rox voted to make the following additions to district-wide special education and professional development.
Sto-Rox school directors voted to approve the hiring of retired special education professor, Linda Jukes, to consult from May to September at a rate of $50 per hour. Newly appointed Superintendent Megan Van Fossan vacated the special education position when she became superintendent.
“She is amazing, the staff are going to love her,” Fossan said of Jukes, who she coaxed out of retirement at a reduced hourly rate.
Jukes will be helping staff manage caseloads and develop student Individual Education Plans.
Jukes has had a 30-year career in special education. Fossan said Jukes would provide a nice transition to finding a permanent person to fill the job.
The board approved a contract with the AIM Institute for Learning & Research for two different programs to help teachers prevent learning loss among students in literacy and science. These were paid for through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund (ESSER) at a cost of $18,750 and a cost of $750 per staff.
Children coming out of the pandemic have faced setbacks in learning which the development training is designed to address. According to a study by the Brookings Institute, test score gaps between students in low poverty and high poverty elementary schools grew by 20% in math and 15% in reading during the 2020-2021 school year.
At no cost to the district, Sto-Rox has entered into a partnership with Texas A&M University to educate seventh and eight grade teachers about eliminating gendered racial bias in school discipline.
The program is entitled Project X-Cel.