Whether the Waterville Central School District hires a librarian for the vacancy at Memorial Park School or uses the position to hire a long-discussed elementary Spanish teacher remains under discussion.
During a good portion of their almost three-hour meeting last week, WCS Board of Education members debated the pros and cons of each option. After the elementary school’s media specialist left last month, how to fill the vacancy has generated a couple of ideas.
WCS Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Spring recommended that the position convert to a foreign language teacher for Spanish. After a few years of studying how that would be done, the district was ready to hire a teacher for the 2020-21 year, but the pandemic prevented that from happening.
Spring said by being creative, the district can offer some new options for students at MPS. “We can look at other models for literacy instruction,’’ she said, saying bringing in a second language would help students with their English skills and broaden their cultural awareness.
Spring said Spanish would be taught during the two days out of six that library was a special class. Students would be able to visit the school library during recess and lunch to check out books.
Waterville could also hire a part-time librarian through BOCES or explore a partnership with Waterville Public Library. Board member Russell Stewart suggested contacting the libraries in Oriskany Falls and Deansboro also.
Spring, whose teaching background is as an English as a Second Language instructor, said the Spanish program could begin this year.
Board member David Poyer said he was not sure if a Spanish teacher is the best use of the vacancy. Given the learning struggles students had last year, he said, this is not the opportune time to bring in a new language.
Spring said it was a good opportunity since a staff member left and opened up a vacancy.
Board President Steve Stanton said he supports bringing in a Spanish teacher. “We walk about what will we do to attract people to live here....