Arlington teachers who want to transfer to different schools during the academic year must get permission from Superintendent Arthur W. Gosling, the School Board decided last night over the opposition of teachers, who objected to giving Gosling veto power over transfers.
The board also approved a program of teacher incentives, with some, including a plan allowing all new teachers and some experienced teachers to spend time observing a colleague, to start in January. Others, including scholarship funds and sabbaticals, will begin in the 1986-87 school year.
The change in the teacher transfer policy was prompted by a Jamestown Elementary School class, which, as a result of two teacher transfers, had three teachers during the first six weeks of school this year. That incident angered parents, who said the quick succession of teachers traumatized their children and drained learning time.
Marjorie McCreery, executive director of the Arlington Education Association, which represents most of the county's 1,000 teachers, said the Jamestown incident was a fluke and did not warrant a move to curb mid-year transfers for all teachers.
Previously, school principals reviewed requests for transfers but "it was relatively automatic," said McCreery. "Now it will be subject to the superintendent's veto. We think it's a giant step backwards."
The board voted 4 to 0 for the new transfer policy; board member Margaret A. Bocek was absent.
In approving the incentive program, the board voted to spend $50,000 in contingency funds to implement some steps in January. The ones to start in the next school year, including the scholarships and sabbaticals, are expected to cost about $278,500.
Excluded from the incentive packages was a controversial proposal for "appreciation awards," which would have given $1,000 to teachers who demonstrated leadership and contributions beyond the requirements of their contracts. This was the only incentive plan criticized by teachers, who claimed it would prompt resentment among teachers and said the guidelines for awarding the grants were vague.
Board members said they wanted more information before making a decision about "appreciation grants."