Delaware News

New hires will ease crowding at intermediate school


Big Walnut School Board members recently approved the hiring of three additional teachers at Big Walnut Intermediate School to help reduce class sizes in the crowded school.

Darin Prince, Stacey Hamilton and Megan Everitt will join the faculty in the 2014-15 school year. Prince will teach sixth grade and Hamilton and Everitt both will teach fifth grade.

Angie Pollock, district assistant superintendent, said the district has received comments that class sizes are too large at the intermediate school.

"The community has been concerned about our class sizes and that's a building we wanted to try to target and get those numbers down," Pollock said.

The intermediate school's 250-260 students breaks down to more than 30 students per teacher, Pollock said.

The district aims to have the student-teacher ratio at 25-1.

Board President Allison Fagan said the board has been concerned about the class sizes as well, but must work within the district's financial means.

"We all know that we want our class sizes reasonable and we are balancing that with what we can afford," Fagan said.

"We need to simultaneously provide appropriate staff-student ratio as well as balance our budgetary concerns."

Also at the April 10 school board meeting:

* Because of the number of calamity days used this winter, Big Walnut students will have to make up days May 29 and 30, board members said. However, Big Walnut High School seniors will keep their original finals schedule. Graduation is May 17.

* Harrison Street Elementary School Principal Kim Castiglione updated the board on the building and faculty hiring progresses. The school tentatively will hold a community open house at the building May 27 and a walk-through for students May 29 and 30.

* Based on early registration, 93 students are enrolled in the new, optional full-day kindergarten, with 78 enrolled in the half-day program, board members said. The district expects an increase in registrations before the beginning of the next school year.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 8 in Big Walnut High School, 555 S. Old 3C Road.