Despite the school year ending for many area districts last week, work remains in session for many area teachers, school administrators and staff. As many students and educators prepare for the summer break, others are on duty for the next two months to prepare for the next school year.
For Alvis Dunlap, principal of B. McDaniel Intermediate School in Denison, the summer days still require him to come into work, albeit in a much quieter setting. Despite most of the faculty leaving for the summer, Dunlap said he and one other staff member stay on the job year round.
“It is more relaxed around here now that we don’t have teachers or students for the most part,” he said.
Dunlap said while he works at the school for the full 12 months of the year, he plans to take a two-week vacation in late June and early July. Throughout the summer, many of his duties involve hiring new teachers or attending meetings in preparation for the fall semester.
“This morning is a good example,” Dunlap said. “I had to complete a survey on our new teachers. Fortunately, I had only one (new) teacher this year. Really, the most important thing over the summer is to hire the best teachers for the people who are retiring and make sure we have the best schedules for our students.”
For some Sherman Independent School District educators and staff, the end of the school year does not mean an end for work and training. Many of the teachers and staff are signed to contracts for 187 days of work throughout the year, Sherman ISD Director of Communications Emily Parks said. However, others, including administrative staff and councillors, can work between 197 and 226 days each year.
“This is the time we do a lot of planning for the community year,” she said, referring to work on setting curriculum for the upcoming semester.
For staff working 197 days, Parks said many Sherman ISD staff will either work a few days at the beginning or end of summer. For administrative staff, many continue to work throughout the summer, albeit with a four-day work week, she said.
Despite being off for the season, many Sherman teachers have the opportunity to continue their training throughout the summer months, Director of Elementary Education Gayle Smith said. Each teacher is required to take 30 hours of development courses throughout the year, with many teachers electing to take the training during the summer, she said.
Throughout most of last week, a group of teachers involved with gifted and talented classes participated in a training session at the Sherman ISD’s administration building. Smith said the district will hold similar sessions throughout the year for a literacy academy, among other topics. One of those sessions will allow teachers to take on training that they will use in August to train teachers at each of their schools, Smith said.
Later this week, Dunlap said he plans to attend a meeting of his Denison school’s math department. As various departments and teachers hold meetings and training sessions throughout the summer, Dunlap said, he likes to attend to offer encouragement and keep on top of topics.
With the summer season in session, Dunlap joked that the relaxed atmosphere allowed him the freedom to relax the dress code slightly as well, as long as there were no meetings.
“We are a little more relaxed, but if I know I have a meeting, the dress code is business casual,” he said.