West Side News

District expects to grow by close to 300 kids next year

Most growth expected at elementary schools

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Enrollment in the South-Western City School District is expected to grow by about 287 students next school year.

Almost all of that increase will be seen in the elementary schools, said Director of Personnel-Certificated Personnel Kevin Laffin.

Laffin and Assistant Superintendent-Personnel Carl Metzger reviewed enrollment and staffing projections for the 2014-15 school year at the March 31 school board meeting.

Elementary enrollment is expected to grow by about 267 students next school year and about 18 more students are projected at the middle school level, Laffin said.

Enrollment at the high school and intermediate school level will each drop by a few students.

Because of the recently adopted changes in elementary school boundaries, some buildings will see sizable increases or decreases in the number of students, he said.

While Stiles Elementary will lose about 126 students, Prairie Norton and Harmon will each gain more than 80 students, Laffin said.

Work is continuing on developing a staffing plan for next school year, Metzger said.

Adjustments will continue to be made over the summer and right up to the start of classes after summer break, he said.

Right now, it appears the increase in elementary enrollment will require seven teachers to be added, Metzger said.

Only one position each is expected to be added at the intermediate and middle school levels, he said.

Discussions are continuing about high school staffing needs, but as of now, no additional high school positions are anticipated, Metzger said.

The number of English as a Second Language students has been on the rise, and the district will likely need to add one or two more ESL teachers, he said.

An additional preschool unit also likely will be added at some point during the next school year, Metzger said.

Planning for the addition of all-day, every-day kindergarten in the 2015-16 school year and the resulting staffing needs is underway, he said.

In other business March 31, the board approved plans for the district's third-grade reading summer school.

Third-grade students in Ohio beginning this year will not be advanced to fourth grade until they pass the state reading achievement test.

The district's reading summer school will be held June 9 through July 9 at Galloway Ridge, Franklin Woods and Park Street intermediate schools.

The sessions will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Thursday and the achievement test will be administered July 8-9.

An estimated 12 teaching positions will be needed for the program with a target student/staff ratio of 15-to-1.

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