March 16, 2017

Little Learners program on hold

By Jerry W. Kram
The Parshall School District’s plan to launch a preschool program called Little Learners this spring ran into a snag as the coordinator of the program was unable to be certified by Mountrail County Social Services.
School Superintendent Beth Schwarz asked for the termination of Katie Moreno because the program cannot start without a person certified in early childhood education. Schwarz said that Moreno had been working with social services for months to complete the 120 hours of education and to submit a background check to the agency. Schwarz said neither task had been completed. Moreno had been paid for the time she needed to obtain her certification.
The issue was complicated because Moreno had been improperly dismissed by Schwarz because of a misunderstanding about the district’s policy on terminations. Schwarz said she did not discover the policy before informing Moreno she was terminated and did not realize that decision had to be brought before the school board. Schwarz noted that she had consulted with the school’s attorney and board chair Michelle Billadeau before taking that action.

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