At the top of a busy agenda at the regular meeting of the Three Rivers Union School board of trustees on Wednesday evening, Aug. 8, the five-member board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Isaac Warner, sixth-grade teacher. Citing the eleventh-hour decision he made just one week before the 130-student, kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school returns from summer vacation on Thursday, Aug. 16, Warner offered to teach until a replacement is found and also to continue in his role as technology coach at $50 per hour as needed.
The role of tech coach is becoming increasingly more important and is vital to set up the school’s Chromebook laptops for the 2018-2019 school year.
Warner, who was hired in 2012, also kept the TRUS website updated, critical to communication with the public, staff, parents, and students. No reason was provided for his sudden resignation.
The vacancy of a certificated teacher called for several changes and the board acted immediately. In discussion as to how to replace Warner as sixth-grade teacher, it was decided that Laura Harrison, most recently the fourth-grade teacher, would be asked to teach a fourth/fifth-
grade combination class of 21 students. Megan Thorn, previously the fifth-grade teacher, would be moved to the sixth-grade with 19 students.
Mark Frick, board member, said he had already received calls from several parents and voiced his opposition to a combination class. Jami Beck, the current second-grade teacher who was in the audience, said she had experience with a third/fourth-grade combination class and that those grades work well together.
The board approved the combination class for the 2018-2019 school year with Frick the lone dissenting vote. To smooth the transition, staff was directed to hire an instructional aide to work mornings in the fourth/fifth-grade combination class.
The board also directed staff to explore options of filling Warner’s role as technology coach. Beck said Megan Thorn was versed in working out the bugs of the Chromebooks and her help should be sought for at least some of the technology issues.
Other options to explore are hiring outside consultants. George Kulick, board member, said staff should check with Woodlake Unified School District, which includes Three Rivers’s high school district, that also uses Chromebooks and see how they handle tech issues.
Isaac Warner provided this statement after his resignation:
“I am thankful for the many interesting, talented, and wonderful students, parents, colleagues, and community members I’ve had the opportunity to teach and learn from during my time at TRUS. But I feel it’s time for me to explore other opportunities. I look forward to continuing my support for Three Rivers Union School as a parent of a fourth and first grader.”
Bond measure— In other TRUS news, the board has appointed a committee to move forward with the campaign to pass a bond issue on the November 6 General Election ballot. Sue Sherwood, outgoing principal and superintendent, said campaign activity will be ramping up in the next couple of months.
Superintendent search— Screening of the nine candidates for the vacant superintendent position concludes today (Friday, Aug. 10). Final interviews will be conducted August 16, 17, and 18.
It was reported that there was one candidate who applied for the post from Pennsylvania and that no travel expenses will be paid to out-of-area applicants. However, if an out-of-area applicant is chosen to be interviewed, they can opt to participate via Skype.
TRUS board meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month. The next board meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m., in the TRUS library. Members of the public are always welcome to attend.