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End of substitutes

By Denebola
Published: September 2008

By Roxanne Glazier

Students and faculty have mixed opinions over the new teacher absences policy created after substitute-teaching positions were eliminated due to budget cuts.

Four substitute teachers were available to cover for absent teachers in the past, but now if a teacher is absent, administrators will post on the classroom door. Students must go to the lecture hall, where a campus aide will take attendance. Upperclassmen may leave for a free block but up the first four classes of underclassmen to arrive in the lecture hall must stay for a directed study.

Because the system allows one campus aide to cover the same number of classes as would have been covered by the four substitutes, the effect of the new policy on the number of free-blocks will be small.

Principal Brian Salzer believes that the policy will be effective because students who fail to check in at the lecture hall will be considered cutting class.

“So far it seems to work, he said.

Campus aide Sally Tesoro agrees that students will adhere to the policy. “Everybody has to check in; it’s just like an attendance, Tesoro said.

Some students, however, are doubtful that the new system will work, especially in the case of cancelled classes for upperclassmen. “I doubt upperclassmen will bother checking in with the campus aides unless the aides are standing by the door of the canceled class, senior Andrea Wong said.

Junior Josh Penzias agrees that upperclassmen likely will not check in and suggested that instead of going to the lecture hall for attendance, a more effective system might be to “write down everybody who is present and bring that list to the campus aide or house office.

Sophomore Charlotte Sall believes that even if students do check in at the lecture hall, the directed studies will be ineffective because the lecture hall is fairly small and lacks desks.

Despite hesitancy surrounding the new system, many students are in favor of the cancellation of the substitute teacher program.

“Most substitute teachers I’ve had in the past were not familiar with the curriculum¦it was really a waste of time to sit in class…I feel that allowing the students to decide for themselves how to pursue the extra hour is a much better way, an anonymous senior said.

Still, some students preferred the old system of having substitute teachers cover classes when teachers were out. “Many of us were very attached to a few of the subs and they will be sorely missed, junior Ben Chelmow said.

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