Although parent volunteers have stepped up to help out in Rochester Schools' media centers, there is still much to be done to fill a void left by cuts in the distric this year.
A budget shortfall in the district for the 2011-12 school year.
On Monday night, Rochester Board of Education members heard firsthand from school administrators and media specialists about the impact of these cuts.
Jeff Mozdzierz, director of educational technology, presented a media centers update to the board, detailing how some of the schools have responded to cutbacks in the media centers.
"We knew the media program would be deeply affected," said Mozdzierz, adding that the media specialists have worked hard to increase volunteers.
But although there is good support in the community, parent volunteers are not always able to meet their commitments if another child is sick or there is a family emergency.
Lisa Kelley, the media specialist at , addressed the board. She cited an incident last week when most of her scheduled volunteers did not show up due to a flu that was spreading through the school.
As a result, Kelley had 900 books piling up to be shelved and her lesson plan had to be scrapped.
"It (volunteers) is not a reliable way of doing it," she said. "It is not a solution to what we are facing."
The board has asked Mozdzierz to come back with options to consider regarding how best to meet the needs of the students under the current circumstances. This may include an alternative staffing or delivery model as well as funding to properly train volunteers.
"I really don't want to lose a whole year. We have to support these folks. I want to see what the action plan is," said Board President Barb Cenko.
Mozdzierz will bring back options based on best practices in other districts. He also urged the board to consider what the district wants our library programs to be in the future. Board member Beth Talbert asked him to quantify what the district can't do any longer.
"We will have less money again ... we need you to bring it forward," she said.
- In other business, board members discussed the possibility of a districtwide recycling plan.
- Superintendent Fred Clarke addressed board members on pending legislation that would have an impact on Rochester schools.