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Committee recommends DCSS hire 22 new EIP teachers

DCSS Curriculum Director Ufot Inyang has recommended that the system implement EIP (Early Intervention Programs) in K through third grades in order to catch potential learning problems earlier. The DCSS currently has EIP programs only in fourth and fifth grades. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)

DCSS Curriculum Director Ufot Inyang has recommended that the system implement EIP (Early Intervention Programs) in K through third grades in order to catch potential learning problems earlier. The DCSS currently has EIP programs only in fourth and fifth grades. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)

ALBANY — The Dougherty County School System’s Instructional Accountability Committee on Friday voted to move a request from the Curriculum department for an additional 22 EIP (Early Intervention Program) teachers before the system’s finance committee for further study.

The idea is to add intervention in K through third grades in an attempt to catch students who are lagging behind their peers. The DCSS’s current EIP program is in place only in grades four through five.

DCSS Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer said the additional teachers — all new hires — will cost approximately $1 million and will be paid for out of the general fund initially until the system can ask the state for help in funding the additional manpower.

System Curriculum Director Ufot Inyang said after testing students in grades K through third, it became obvious that the DCSS needed to implement intervention earlier.

“We discovered quite a few of our younger children need help now,” Inyang said. “To implement EIP even earlier, we need the additional 22 teachers to serve the needs of our elementary students. I am convinced that earlier intervention will result in increased performance as the students progress.”

Dyer agreed.

“We already have EIP in in place in the fourth and fifth grades, but now we want to focus on our K through third graders, “Dyer said. “The state average shows 10 percent of elementary students need EIP, and we are around that number and the percentage could be higher. I also think we might be missing out on some state funding.

“A million dollars is a significant investment, but if we can catch and correct potential problems earlier, then we think it will be a good investment.”

In discussion items, the Committee heard a recommendation from Testing Supervisor Renee Bridges to change the weighting of Advanced Placement Classes from 1.0 to .5 to bring the district in line with state standards. She added the new weight will be implemented with the 2013-14 ninth grade cohort group.

The committee also heard a report on “Focus Walks” that were recently conducted in all of the DCSS’s 23 schools. The classrooms were chosen at random and were observed by teams of teachers and administrators for 15 minutes each.

Teachers were then rated on their performance and teaching methods.