Friday, September 30, 2011

From the Superintendent: Enrollment, Budget Challenges and Impacts to Classrooms

Supt. Kowba In the first few weeks of each school year, class sizes and staffing are adjusted to balance the numbers of students in each grade across each campus. Even with the best projections, this planning is not a precise science and adjustments must be made in response to enrollment growth and decline. This year has been especially challenging. Due to state budget requirements and contractual obligations, we had to submit a budget and reduce teachers based on projections made last Spring. Our official 2011 enrollment numbers, released today, indicate that the district has experienced an enrollment decline of about 1,700 students, slightly more than projected.

Starting today, our principals will be working with the Education Center team to make adjustments at schools to ensure the right teacher with the proper qualifications is in a classroom with the correct number of students. This will result in changes to classes at some campuses, which we know can be difficult for staff and students. In making the adjustments, a number of teachers will be recalled from layoff status and rejoin the district. We are working to get them fully reinstated and in the proper classroom as soon as possible. Our area superintendents, principals, and teachers are working to make these transitions as smooth as possible for all campus stakeholders.

As always, our top priority is our students. We are committed to making these changes with as little impact on the learning process as possible. Your patience and understanding with this very difficult and complicated transition is very much appreciated.

Bill Kowba