Teachers going back to class

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 1999

VIDALIA, La. — Next semester, Concordia Parish’s public school teachers will get the chance to go back to school themselves — and they won’t have to travel to a university to do it.

For the first time, the district has paired with Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech University to have education courses beamed via satellite to its three high schools.

There, teachers who register for the courses with the universities will be able to take a variety of courses to get teacher certification or simply continue their education.

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Today, 21 of the district’s 300 teachers do not hold teaching certificates. That is down from 45 in 1998-99 and 35 the previous year — but the district is still working to get more teachers certified.

&uot;But it’s not just for uncertified teachers,&uot;&160;said Superintendent Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman. &uot;We’re giving all our teachers the opportunity to further their education.&uot;

Starting in January, Grambling will offer a course on technology in education through the distance learning program. As of Thursday, 15 Concordia Parish teachers had signed up for the course in addition to 10 teachers from nearby parishes.

Then in March, Louisiana Tech will begin offering courses necessary for teachers to earn their certification.

&uot;Every two years, (Louisiana Tech) will cycle through the courses teachers need for certification,&uot;&160;said Leinda Peterman, the district’s America 2000 coordinator.

To continue teaching in Louisiana, an uncertified teacher must give the state proof every year that he has taken at least six hours of courses toward his certification, Leinda Peterman said.

About $120,000 worth of equipment needed to broadcast the classes was bought by the district with the help of an America 2000 Challenge Grant.