FWCS Removes Bible Trailers, LEAD Schools Update & Sodexo Transition Latest

By John W. Davis

August 9, 2010 Updated Aug 9, 2010 at 11:43 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne Community Schools is moving forward with two initiatives that will affect your child's education.

Also, FWCS Board Members heard a detailed report on Sodexo's custodial outsourcing transition.

Indiana's NewsCenter learned that most of the district's 11 LEAD schools are fully staffed.

FWCS officials said the process of revamping current schools into LEAD schools will be finished by mid-August.

However, teachers will be expected to continue focusing on implementing LEAD changes.

That is why the district has scheduled weekly Wednesday half-hour school delays for professional development.

As of Monday August 9, less than 20 LEAD teaching positions are still available at the Middle School and High School levels.

Meanwhile, the last of six LEAD staff training sessions will conclude on August 17.

FWCS Chief Operations Officer Charles Cammack said 1,085 teachers interviewed for LEAD school openings.

"It wasn't just an exercise to be able to say that we went through it and now we have the teachers in the buildings... At the end of the day we think we have people who want to be in the buildings but more importantly who are skilled in the areas that we need them to be to do the work we need done," said newly-appointed FWCS Chief Operations Officer Charles Cammack.

Cammack also reported the district conducted 558 non-LEAD school interviews.

Overall, about 90 teachers are still laid off because of the district's Reduction In Force initiative.

*The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board voted Monday night to remove religious instruction from occurring during school hours.

That means students will not be able to attend, even at a parents request, bible trailer character education during instructional teaching time.

FWCS said they still plan to partner with the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County but will help create a new neighborhood-based after school outreach program.

"We have been able to demonstrate that the most effective support for students is after school when they're not with us... Everything doesn't have to happen during the school day, students can still have after school programs that are just as effective," said Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson.

Exact details like the structure and locations for the outreach program have not been announced.

*Meanwhile, Sodexo Vice President Brad Lozier said their outsourced custodial transition is off to a "great start."

Lozier reported to the FWCS Board that 96 former FWCS janitors were hired by Sodexo.

Lozier said the 96 were out of 250 current Fort Wayne Sodexo employees.

Lozier went on to express that he was surprised only 96 former FWCS janitors accepted a position from his company.

Lozier did share that three former FWCS janitors are now Sodexo custodial managers.

He said 100% of current workers have passed extensive background checks and that Sodexo's pre-employment screening process was audited by a third-party firm.

Meanwhile, as Indiana's NewsCenter previously reported, FWCS janitors had to agree to 30% to 40% lower wages for a job with Sodexo.

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