Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Language guides get raise

Thursday, December 6, 2018 by Heather Nigrone Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

At the November BASD school board meeting, the board took a step to renew its commitment to the diverse student population within the district. In addition to traditional English as a Second Language staff, the district has intermittent need for specialized language support, in situations where as few as one student may speak a language not typically supported by ESOL programming.

The district decided to remain competitive by increasing the pay-rate for these intermittent language guides to $15 per hour.

Board members questioned the educational backgrounds of the guides prior to considering the pay raise. It was pointed out that although most of the guides do not have Pennsylvania teacher certification, they all must pass an assessment of dual fluency in their teaching language, as well as English, and the average guide typically havs a form of masters degree in language. Board Member Tom Thomasik suggested that these important assets to the district should be strongly encouraged to seek certification to become substitute teachers, thereby becoming eligible to earn even more for their efforts.

Board member Eugene McKeon added that in reality, the district should be encouraging them to become full time teaching staff for any language where the student need is strong enough to justify it. This strong encouragement by the board continues to strengthen the BASD commitment to each and every student and culture in the BASD community.