Newhall School District board approves leadership training

The Newhall School District Office. Dan Watson/The Signal

Newhall School District officials approved this week spending up to $16,000 to provide customer service, communication and team building training to members of the district’s classified staff.

The Newhall School District’s board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a leadership development initiative contract for professional development training throughout the year. 

The approved contract is with Timothy J. Furlong, a psychiatrist based in Athens, Texas, who will provide six training sessions throughout the year for classified staff of the school district. Furlong was recommended by Michelle Morse, assistant superintendent of human resources with the district, who said Furlong has worked with previous colleagues in public education. Classified staff members differ from faculty, being that classified staff members are not required to have a certificate or license to be qualified for a job position.

“The executive cabinet have been having ongoing conversations about how we’ve done a lot with certificated (teaching) staff over the years, like adoption of other types of training,” said Morse. “This one focuses on team building and customer service.”

The funding for this training program comes from the Classified School Employee Professional Development Block Grant, which the district received last year. Morse said the grant is meant to be used exclusively for classified staff with a focus on training.

Training sessions will happen over Furlong’s six visits to the district over the course of the year, with dates during the 2020-21 school year pending.

The on-site training sessions are aimed to create a learning opportunity, show practical application in the workspace, and create an open discussion around strengths and challenges in the workplace, according to Morse.

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