The Mineral Point School Board held a special meeting the morning of Wednesday, August 23.
Following executive session, the Board voted to approve the hiring of Brooke McGraw to a 1st grade teacher/Instructional Coaching position.
Voting yes were Lisa Hay, Julie Stephenson, and Andy Busch.
Voting no were Larry Dolphin and Larry Steffes.
Jeff Basting and Kelly Gundlach were absent.
The hiring means that some 1st grade students will have Kimberly Diefenbach as a teacher in the morning and McGraw as a teacher in the afternoon.
Elementary principal Matt Renwick explained the logic behind this move.
This past school year, Diefenbach served as an Instructional Coach & Literacy Interventionist after having served as a 1st grade teacher in previous years.
Once the Board voted to add an additional 1st grade teacher at its last meeting to reduce class sizes, Diefenbach was approached to see if she would be interested and stated she would either like to return 100% to the classroom, or do 50% classroom and 50% interventionist.
Renwick said this helped develop a scenario that would allow McGraw, who holds an administrative license, to step in and serve as an instructional coach, as well as 1st grade teacher.
Superintendent Luke Francois said, “As we looked at the candidates’ strengths, it became clear the best solution was one we hadn’t considered at first.”
Parents present expressed concern with consistency for students, having a different teacher in the morning than the afternoon.
Renwick stated that job sharing is not uncommon in schools, and that students will have one classroom and will not be shuffled between rooms.
Hay and Stephenson stated they believed this is a good scenario and would be thrilled if their children had been students in a classroom with quality teachers like Diefenbach and McGraw.
— The Board unanimously approved the District’s recommendation to approve the purchase of math and reading workbooks for multiple grades at the elementary in the amount of $7,526. Voting yes were Hay, Steffes, Dolphin, and Stephenson. Busch had left the meeting by this point. Basting and Gundlach were absent.