COVINGTON - People interested in becoming a new substitute teacher in Newton County may have to dish out some extra gas money.
Starting this year, substitute teacher training workshops for the Newton County School System are being held at Griffin Regional Educational Service Agency, or Griffin RESA, located at 440 Tilney Ave. in Griffin. The location is about 44 miles - and approximately an hour's drive - away from the Newton County Board of Education office, where the workshops were previously held.
Dennis Carpenter, association superintendent for Human Resources at NCSS, said the change in location is due to budget cuts at Griffin RESA. Unlike in the past, the agency is unable to send a representative to train future substitutes at the Newton County offices.
While Newton County has had to change its procedures, Rockdale County Public Schools, which is not part of Griffin RESA, will continue to offer new substitute teacher training through its professional learning department in Conyers.
So far, the new requirements don't seem to be hurting the turnout. Carpenter said 20 of the 43 attendants at the first session on Aug. 1 were for NCSS, the school system with the highest number of participants for that session. Training also was offered on Aug. 22, but attendance numbers were unavailable as of press time Friday.
"If it gets to a point where we don't have enough (substitute teachers), we can go back and look at it" to see if another training method is possible, said Carpenter, adding that those who are interested now seem more dedicated since they have to travel a long distance.
NCSS employs about 400 substitute teachers. The number of substitute teachers who went through training last year at the NCSS central office also was unavailable as of press time Friday.
The next scheduled substitute training workshops available for this year are Sept. 15 and Oct. 10, according to a flier from NCSS. The cost for the class is $25, which includes materials and a certificate of completion.
Attending the four-hour workshop is a one-time requirement for new NCSS substitute teachers. Training includes learning how to be an effective and professional substitute teacher, classroom management and student supervision, teaching methods and skills and learning the code of ethics for educators and legal aspects of substitute teaching, among other topics.
In addition to attending the workshop, people interested in becoming a substitute teacher for NCSS must undergo fingerprinting for a $25 fee, complete an application packet, attend a two-hour information session at the Newton County BOE and observe a classroom for one full day.
More information about substitute teaching for NCSS is available at the Newton County BOE, located at 2109 Newton Drive in Covington, by calling 770-787-1330 or by visiting www.newtoncountyschools.org.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.