WAVERLY – School District 145 is on the hunt for a new kindergarten teacher for the next school year.
Next year’s enrollment at that grade level has pushed the district to add a sixth kindergarten section at Hamlow Elementary.
Dist. 145 Superintendent Cory Worrell reported that the Board of Education gave the go ahead at its meeting June 3 to add another kindergarten section and hire another teacher.
“There is space for another classroom at Hamlow,” he said.
More importantly, he said the additional section will give more elbow room in the five other kindergarten classrooms.
Based on projections for next year’s enrollment, three classrooms would have had 25 students and the other two classrooms 24 students.
Worrell said that projection doesn’t even take into account students who may move into the district over the summer.
Having 24 to 25 students in a classroom is not optimal. Plus, the superintendent said some new reading initiatives next year was the final driving factor to add a sixth section to kindergarten.
“With some reading laws in place, this will just be a lot better,” he said.
The challenge now will be to find that new teacher, but Worrell said the hope was that a new hire could be presented to the board at its meeting July 1.
The district will be looking for another special education teacher for Hamlow Elementary as well.
During the 2013-2014 school year, 2001 students had an individualized education plan (IEP). That number has crept up to 331.
“So, the number of IEPs has really grown in the last six years,” Worrell said.
In the past, there has been two SPED teachers at Hamlow and three at Waverly Intermediate School. Due to the increase in numbers, one SPED teacher has been splitting time between both buildings.
He said having an extra SPED teacher will help balance the workload.
Helping the workload should also be addressed with a new musical director for the high school drama department.
The board also gave the go-ahead last week to adding a musical director position.
During the school’s big productions, such as the musicals, the drama department was hiring extra help. The new position will now be treated as an extra-curricular assignment and be budgeted similar to other similar extra=curricular activities.
“With the number of kids we have involved, it’s quite a bit of responsibility,” Worrell said.
A new director of learning was hired by the board as well. Scott Blum, who resigned to accept another job, will be replaced by Angela Plugge. Plugge has been principal most recently at Dawes Middle School in Lincoln and has 19 years of experience with Lincoln Public Schools.
Worrell reported that most things are falling into place for the next school year. There are some coaching and extra- curricular activity assignments that are being worked out this summer.
He said it is getting harder to keep people in these types of positions, as they require a lot of time for not a lot of pay.