KINGSPORT — City school system officials are urging parents to support city leaders maintaining current STEM teacher funding for the city system, although the city system is pulling out of a joint STEM program at the school year’s end.
Superintendent of Schools Lyle Ailshie and other school officials spoke to parents of city students at Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee about the city school system’s current and planned STREAM offerings Thursday night.
STEM is science, technology, engineering and math, along with project-based learning style, while STREAM adds reading and the arts.
Ailshie surged parents who were pleased with IA’s STEM program to voice their support for STREAM to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
STREAM seeks to bring some STEM to all students and bring more intensive STEM to students with an interest or propensity in it, he said.
“We will need some support when we go to the city,” Ailshie said, adding that he will lay the groundwork for the 2014-15 KCS budget request at a BMA work session Monday. “We need to keep that commitment level to STEM.”
Ailshie said he wants to convince the BMA to keep the 7.5 teaching positions KCS funds for IA as separate STEM teachers back in the existing city schools, not just use those positions to fill in needs for teachers needed because of enrollment growth or teacher retirement.
“What has been going on at IA is really STREAM, too,” Ailshie said.
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