District 518 board OKs job reductionsWORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education voted to eliminate and reduce a number of positions in a special meeting Thursday.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education voted to eliminate and reduce a number of positions in a special meeting Thursday.
Most cuts were made in the area of special education, with three full-time equivalent (FTE) Special Education positions, eight FTE Special Education Paraprofessional positions and a half-time Special Education Secretary position being cut.
“It’s partly a drop in the number of students we have (in special education) and partly the increasing direct responsibility for special education teachers,” explained Superintendent John Landgaard.
Six teachers in the district will not have their probationary contracts renewed, some due to performance issues and others because of enrollment decreases in their departments, Landgaard said.
Board members also continued discussion about whether to have nine or 10 sections of kindergarten at Prairie Elementary in 2009-2010.
Principal Paul Besel said he would support the kindergarten teachers in their wish to continue with nine sections, using a full time paraprofessional in each classroom. There are currently 149 kindergarten students confirmed for next year, and that number is expected to grow above 200 before the summer is through.
“Parents have shared a concern that they want to have class sizes stay low,” said Besel.
With that in mind, board members gave the administration the authority to use 10 sections of kindergarten if the enrollment exceeds 215. Under that arrangement, each class would have a paraprofessional for five hours a day.
In other business, the board Thursday:
- Approved the elimination of two FTE Reading Recovery positions, a half-time Area Learning Center English Language Learning (ELL) position and the reduction of a 0.4 FTE agriculture position.
- Voted not to renew probationary teaching contracts for the following faculty, effective the end of the 2008-2009 school year:
Ruth Putnam, ELL Teacher at the Area Learning Center; Ron Hyvari, teacher at the ALC; Ben Larson, agriculture teacher at Worthington High School; Joan Wendland, DCD teacher at Worthington Middle School; Anne Bruns, LD/EBD teacher at WMS and Rene Olson, EBD teacher at Prairie Elementary.
- Awarded the asbestos abatement bid for the WHS gymnasium bleacher replacement project to Assessco Environmental Services Inc. for $21,639.