Morris Elementary teachers Shana Ulrich (l) and Abbey Johnson (r) are co-chairs of the Staff Development Committee. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

Morris Elementary teachers Abbey Johnson and Shana Ulrich, co-chairs of the School District’s Staff Development Committee, made their annual presentation to the Morris School Board at their regular meeting Monday night. Their committee has a budget of $132,000 for staff training and development, and they reported that they used their entire budget in the past year. This marked a change from prior years when much of the money went unspent. Ulrich noted that every request that came through on the Elementary side was approved.

“And then some things that we’ve been noticing that have really been going well: the staff are requesting the money, they’re going places, they’re interested in learning more,” said Ulrich. “We actually had a situation that we ended up spending a little bit more than was in our budget that we took out of our reserve — we also have a reserve budget. So, this is the first time that’s ever happened and we have a lot of people who are interested in using our money.”

Some challenges they brought up included finding quality staff development programs to attend in the region, finding enough substitutes to cover the staff who attend such events, and making sure the training dollars get spread to as many staff as possible.

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