North Kitsap School District adds teachers to ease class sizes

POULSBO — North Kitsap School District administrators hired additional teachers for the 2011-12 school year after class size numbers grew too large for comfort.

Administrators hired three teachers to ease class sizes at the elementary and secondary levels. After the Sept. 22 school board meeting, the board added another two teaching positions at the elementary level.

Classrooms with 30 students or more at the elementary level will receive help from added staff. This includes Pearson Elementary, which had two kindergarten classrooms with 30 students each. The elementary classes were split into three, with 20 students each.

Additional teachers were assigned as follows: Suquamish Elementary, 1 FTE, first and second grade split; Gordon Elementary, 1 FTE, first and second grade split; Poulsbo Elementary, 1 FTE, grade 2; Pearson Elementary, 1 FTE, kindergarten; Kingston High School, .2 FTE chemistry, .4 FTE Social Studies; North Kitsap High School, .2 FTE Spanish, .2 FTE culinary arts.

Though the addition of three teachers were determined not to jeopardize the district’s reserve fund — going below 3 percent — the additional two FTE could. More than $100,000 will come out of the reserve fund to pay for the teachers.

The hiring of additional teachers follows a student count, which the district underestimated by 18 students. The current count is 6,073. The district receives $5,242.46 per student annually from the state. If the number stays the same once enrollment numbers are finalized, the district will receive $94,364.28 more than expected.

Though the 18 extra students could help pay for the additional teachers, if student enrollment drops off, the district will need to find other ways to keep reserves up.


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