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District 300 eyes teacher hires for 2014-15 school year

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 6:49 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:22 a.m. CDT

CARPENTERSVILLE – An expanding high school and special education population at Carpentersville-based District 300 has caused school officials to go on a slight hiring spree for the upcoming school year.

Chief Financial Officer Susan Harkin said the district plans on spending about $485,100 in new salary and benefits for the 2014-15 school year that would primarily cover a combined total of eight high school and special education teachers.

The personnel additions would accommodate a growing student population in both areas and help the district maintain its current high school class sizes, which are mandated by classroom caps detailed in the latest teacher contract.

"High school is the area where we are currently seeing increases in our enrollment," Harkin said during a recent district board meeting. "Elementary and middle schools look like the enrollment will be such a matter that we will not need to add teachers there."

District officials also want to add a sixth-grade choir teacher at Lakewood School and extra personnel to the district's expanding AVID program, an elective course designed to help average-performing middle and high school students.

Lakewood has long operated without a choir teacher, Harkin said. The added teacher would align Lakewood's choir program with the rest of the district's middle schools.

Harkin announced the proposed hires during a board meeting last week. The district's human resources department will now post job ads for the positions before board members approve selected candidates.

District officials also eyed additional personnel to help administer the district's special education program and assist with the district's RTI program that is meant to support students who struggle behaviorally and academically.

But the potential hires did not fit within the district's priorities for the 2014-15 school year.

"We want to stay within the framework of having a balanced budget," Harkin said.

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