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Levy County School teachers are buried in paperwork, said Cindy Roach, President of the Levy County Education Association, at last week's School Board meeting.
"The will and spirit of teachers across the district are being broken by the burden of paperwork required on a daily basis," Roach said.
"Paperwork has gotten way out of hand," she said. "It has become an epidemic."
Examples of current paperwork include daily lesson plans, daily focus charts, curriculum maps, Sunshine State Standards assessments, assessment folders, student progress reports, report cards, notes to parents, emails that require response, and daily paper grading and recording.
Finding the time to complete the paperwork is difficult for teachers, Roach said. "If the paperwork alone is not enough to stress a teacher out, add to it the fact that time is never provided to accomplish the task."
Daily planning periods are no longer used for planning, but for meetings instead, she said.
"Planning periods are not used for planning, they're used for professional development, faculty meetings, data meetings, grade level meetings, curriculum meetings, Continuous School Improvement meetings, subject area meetings, parent conferences, IEP meetings, and student tutoring - just to mention a few," Roach said.
Then there are the early release days which have also become scheduled professional development days," she said.
Even scheduled workdays do not give teachers time to plan or catch up on paperwork, according to Roach. "Teacher workdays... are used to scheduled more meetings and professional development that could not fit in during the other times."
Calling on the Board to take action, Roach offered a truce between the teachers' union and district administration.
"The LCEA would like to extend a hand across the great divide and propose that the district work in conjunction with a task force of members to address this huge overburden placed on classroom teachers throughout Levy County," she said.
Roach encouraged board members to ask teachers about the impact of the paperwork load so that they can understand the problem first hand. "But, you will need to ask them, as some have received flack from having contacted members of the Board," she said.
"Just like any other form of epidemic, once we know that it exists, we must be compelled to act," she said.
"The LCEA is ready and we hope that you will join us."
Board members thanked Roach for her time, but declined to discuss the matter further in the meeting.