D-26 Projects Small Decrease in Class Sizes
The district's administration has recommended no net change in staffing levels.
For the 2012-13 school year, District 26 projects a decline of 176 students, which would bring the projected enrollment to 2,630. The average class size will have a minimal decrease from 29.8 to 28.4 students.
“Our eighth grade class is bigger than the kindergarten class,” said Superintendent Brian Coleman at the Monday night finance committee meeting.
The district will be losing 384 eighth graders, gaining a projected 180 kindergarten students and projecting a return of 28 first graders based on a survey of non-district kindergarten programs.
Coleman said the district has seen declining enrollment since 2005, with 912 students leaving the district. This trend is set to continue to about 2015 or 2016 school years, Coleman said.
District 26 discusses their staffing plan once a year to prepare for the following school year.
With current eighth grade students going on to high school, new students joining the district to attend kindergarten and returning first graders, the administration recommended no net change in staffing levels for the 2012-13 school year.
Coleman said this is “good news for the district” given the changes the district has went through in the last couple of years.
There will be one reduction of a classroom teacher but there will be one addition of a special education teacher, keeping the staff level the same.
However, as the school year approaches and the number of students may change, the administration will make recommendations for more or less staff as needs arises.
Board secretary Chris Jenner asked said in the last several years, we’ve decline by a lot of students, and in the last couple of years, we’ve closed two buildings, a question that I know is going to get asked, “Why are we keeping the administration flat?”
“I think you got to look at your ratio of administrators compared to a number of students,” Coleman said. “When you look at our ratio as far as building principals, directors and the number of students we serve, we have one of the highest ratios of all our benchmark districts.”
On Oct. 10, 2011 Coleman presented an administrative review that cited the 2010 Illinois School Report Card, stating that District 26 had 220 students to one administrator.
For more details, read the patch article “D-26 Conducts Administrative Review”
Community member Scott Epstein suggested subtracting at least one position from the administration office and adding a person as a teacher, which would lower classroom sizes and have a greater impact on education.
“I think people would like to see a better effort in lowering class sizes,” Epstein said.
With cutting a position from the administration office, it would make a difference, Coleman said, however Epstein suggested using parents as volunteers in the administration office.
“I know there are plenty of people in the community that are stay at home moms or dads, that would be more than willing to come in and help out with any administrative work,” said Epstein.
Coleman said the district does use volunteers to help out with some clerical work but other administrative duties need to be completed by qualified people. T. Ferrier, director of finance also added that some of the districts’ documents are confidential.
Vice-president Jason Larry said the district needs a balance of between teachers and administrators to provide a quality education.
The administration plans to keep the current staffing levels that will allow the district to balance its budget and still reduce the overall average class size to 28.4 students.
The Board of education will vote on final approval of the staffing levels at its regular board meeting on Feb. 27.
|Avg. Class Size||29.8||28.4||-1.4|
2012-13 Projected Enrollment: Briargate
2012-13 Projected Enrollment: Deer Path
|Total Deer Path||545||24||21||29|
2012-13 Projected Enrollment: Three Oaks
|All Day K||52||2||2||26|
|1/2 ELL MA||18||1||1||18|
|Total Three Oaks||678||28||25||26.5|
2012-13 Projected Enrollment: Cary Junior High