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Because of enrollment much greater than predicted, Shelby County Public Schools is adding new teachers.
The biggest need has come at the elementary level, where Painted Stone, Heritage and Wright each have added one full-time teacher. The schools’ Site-based Decision Making Councils have the charge of deciding where that teacher is most needed.
Adding those teachers also has required that the schools reorganize some classes.
“The SBDM will decide where the teacher is most needed based on classroom size, the number of students in each grade and several factors,” said Barbara Allen, the district’s director of personnel and administration. “But they don’t decide how to move the students. That’s up to each individual school.”
On opening day this year, the district had 6,607 students show for classes, and by the second day that number already had increased to 6,655.
Currently there are 163 more students than last year, 65 more than projected.
The increased numbers forced the district to regroup on the staffing allocations, which were set in February and based on the 98-student growth projection.
Allen also noted that allocations were also increased at other schools, but “they were percentages of positions, maybe a point-one position [read: salary money] that the schools can use how they see fit.”
Schools with percentages of positions can use those dollars in several different ways, including part-time and specialty positions.
The district staff had a presentation on the growth for the school board meeting on Thursday and was expected to give more explanation on the rapid increase of this year’s student body.