|Despite classroom size, Perrysburg won't change elementary staff levels|
|Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:14|
PERRYSBURG - The school district may be able to move forward next school year without changing elementary staffing levels - despite classrooms straining under a growing student population.
Superintendent Tom Hosler provided a staffing update to the school board at its work session earlier this month.
There are currently 76 teachers in grades 1 through 5 in the district, spread among the four elementary schools: Fort Meigs, Frank, Toth and Woodland.
In his presentation, Hosler suggested that the number of teachers would not change, but teachers would need to be shuffled around. One teacher from second grade and three teachers from third grade would be changed to two fourth- and two first-grade teachers. One teacher at Toth would be moved to Frank.
"This isn't a recommendation, this is kind of an update, a snapshot," said Hosler.
The moves are happening in anticipation of larger classes of children moving up.
And there are concerns about class sizes in the various schools. Information provided by Hosler at the meeting showed that fifth grades at Fort Meigs and Frank have an average class size of 28 - more than the recommended maximum of 25. Grade 3 at Frank and Toth have 26 students on average, and first grade at Woodland bears watching, with an average class size of 24.5 students.
"We have to have a plan just based on our growth," said board member Barry Van Hoozen.
Staffing updates on levels at Perrysburg High School and Junior High are expected within the next month.
The board also debated a slate of possible energy-saving moves that might take place in the district under House Bill 264, which permits schools to take action for energy efficiency and to borrow money for that purpose - but provides no funding.
The 54 projects would cost just over $4 million, but would recoup about $540,000 annually in energy savings. They would likely be paid for through loans.
The cost, and the disparity between the outlay and the savings, caused some consternation.
"We were kind of shell-shocked by the cost of the project," said Treasurer and CFO Matt Feasel. However, he said later that "we're still working out some of the details, but I'm much more comfortable than I was initially."
"It seems like lighting is in such a state of flux right now," said board President Gretchen Downs, expressing concern about upgrading when technology is advancing so rapidly.
"So, are we going to put something in, and in two years somebody's going to say 'These CFLs you've been using for years are more a part of the problem than they are a solution?'"
"I would say some of these make sense. Not all of them," said Van Hoozen of the projects.
"Some things are worth doing," board member Walter Edinger said, referring to the potential projects. "Others, you sit there and you think 'Wow, the payout is so far beyond our expectation it doesn't make sense.' The ones that we're required by code, those are easy."
"I think we have to have in our mind a sense of useful life of the buildings," he said later.
Feasel and Executive Director of Human Resources and Operations Aura Norris said they will take back the board's questions and concerns for further clarification.
In other business, the board:
• Heard that the administration is moving forward with the creation of a "college counselor" position at the high school.
• Heard that the administration is working with the Perrysburg Schools Foundation to create a development position to raise private funds for the district and the PSF.
• Heard that all-day kindergarten registration is under way. They are currently on pace to meet or surpass the 55 percent of students already selecting all-day kindergarten. The district currently offers full- and half-day kindergarten.
Member Mark Schoenlein was absent from the meeting.
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