School Board Looks at Proposal to Add Staff
School District 304 considers a proposal Tuesday night that would add a bilingual teacher and a part-time English Language Learners position to our elementary schools.
The Geneva School Board packet for the Tuesday, May 29, meeting includes a recommendation to increase staffing, particularly in the area of special education and special needs.
According to the report by Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Craig Collins, district funds would be used to increase staff by 1.5 FTEs, or full-time equivalent positions.
The district also will swap some new positions for some old ones and add 2.3 FTEs via federal grant funds.
The 1.5 additional positions that would be paid by the School District include a full-time bilingual elementary teacher at Harrison Street School and a part-time English Language Learners position. One big reason for the additional staffing is state mandates.
"We are required by state law to provide a bilingual classroom when our enrollment of Spanish-speaking students reaches a certain level at a school," Collins said in the report. "The bilingual position at Harrison Elementary School, funded this past year using Federal Jobs Funds, must continue to be offered by the district due to the number of Spanish speaking students currently enrolled at Harrison."
Under the plan, the district also would add the equivalent of 4.3 positions that are offset by an equal reduction in staff at the elementary school and middle school level. Geneva's six elementary schools would reduce four sections and to reduce a section of German and French in the middle schools.
"Based on our enrollment projections, we believe we can staff our six elementary schools next fall with four fewer elementary sections," Collins said. "Projecting staffing needs at the elementary level some three months before the start of the next school year is not an exact science. We will closely monitor elementary enrollment in each grade in each building between now and the beginning of the next school year. In the event that unexpected enrollment growth occurs in a particular grade, we will consider the possibility of adding a new section and bring a recommendation to the Board of Education for approval."
Added would be:
- A full-time assistant technology facilitator (1 FTE)
- A full-time elementary reading interventionist for first grade (1 FTE)
- A full-time department section increase for science and world languages at Geneva High School (1 FTE)
- A part-time special education teacher at Geneva Middle School South (0.8 FTE)
- A part-time special education teacher at Harrison Street School (0.5 FTE)
Using federal funding, Geneva would add one full-time and a number of part-time positions:
- Elementary Reading Specialist Title I Grant (1.0 FTE)
- School Psychologist - GHS IDEA Grant (0.4 FTE)
- Social Worker - Preschool IDEA Grant (0.3 FTE)
- Pre-School Speech/Language IDEA Grant (0.2 FTE)
- Pre-School Teacher IDEA Grant (0.2 FTE)
- Speech/Language - Mill Creek IDEA Grant (0.2 FTE)
- Special Education Teaching Assistant - GMSS (nine-month position)
"With the exception of the bilingual teaching position at Harrison and the part-time English Language Learner teaching position at the elementary level, we are not proposing any increase in certified staff FTE in 2012/2013 using district funds," Collins said. "As has been the case for many years, should it be necessary to add certified staff in July, August, or during the school year based on unforeseen circumstances (e.g. enrollment increases) we will use our FY 2013 staff contingency dollars set aside for such purpose."