Teaching Is an Art and Science, Not Another Number to Crunch

I began my high school teaching career in 1992 following a stint in the Oak Bluffs School and an alternative school so I guess this year I come of age. I have 21 years of growing, struggling always to do better, of working and living with this community. It is time to reflect. There is so much to be thankful for in this richly diverse culture where I have found support from so many whose love for our children is indeed boundless.

Federal Cuts May Impact Elder, Education Services

Vineyard programs that depend on federal funding are expected to see little impact, at least in the short term, from the much-publicized automatic budget cuts set to take effect in Washington today. But leaders in Island education, elder and health services said next year could be a different story.

Tribe Translates Oral Tradition for School Curriculum

In an attempt to establish consistency and accuracy in history classes, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) education committee and tribal historic preservation office are developing a curriculum on Wampanoag history and culture for the Island public schools.

On Tuesday night, members of the tribal education committee joined the up-Island regional school committee for a broad discussion on communication between the tribe and the schools. The tribe has 24 children in the school system.

Superintendent's Budget Approved, Special Education Needs Rise

The All-Island School Committee approved an 8.8 per cent increase in the superintendent’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

The committee voted 10-2, with Roxanne Ackerman of Aquinnah and Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter of West Tisbury opposing.

In his presentation to the committee last month, superintendent James H. Weiss admitted that the budget jump was steep.

“The budget increase is significantly higher than I would have liked,” he said at the meeting.

Special Education Needs Prompt Budget Hike

Increasing demand for special education services in Island public schools has led to a large jump the school superintendent’s budget for the coming fiscal year. Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss presented a $4.4 million operating budget to the all-Island school committee last week, an increase of 8.8 per cent. “I’m going to be candid with you,” Mr. Weiss told the committee. “The budget increase is significantly higher than I would have liked.”

Chasing English as a Language Is the Objective

For four years now, since its inception in 1997, the state-sponsored special English language program has been growing. From three classes that first year to seven classes today - and it's still not enough. Ninety-seven adult students enrolled, and 154 filled the waiting list during September registration earlier this year. Another 86 added their names to the list several weeks ago, when a second registration was held - a mid-session adjustment to enroll students replacing those no longer in the course.

New Island Teacher Contract Approved

Teachers who do their math might be smiling this week, knowing that their new salary contract will boost wages by as much as 27 per cent over three years, turning today's $50,000 job into a $63,893 position by the fall of 2003.

English as a Second Language: Growing Problem Taxes Programs

The waiting list for English as a second language classes on the Island has more than 80 names, and has left Island educators scrambling for teachers and funds.

State Commends Tisbury School as Island Students Meet Targets

Tisbury School principal Richie Smith can describe exactly the moment he learned how his students performed in the annual Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test: it was August 6, early morning, in his kitchen, on the telephone and he did cartwheels.

“Well, it was more jumps,” he revised. “But I react that way every year when I find out we made AYP.”

Driver Education to Return, Neal Maciel to Steer the Course

Pending the ability to hire an accredited teacher, high school leaders announced this week that driver education will return to the regional high school next fall.

Former head of the state police, Neal Maciel, is set to begin teaching in the fall once he receives the proper teaching credentials from the department of motor vehicles.