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District 156 staffing shifts result in no layoffs

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:52 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:01 p.m. CDT

McHENRY – Exploding enrollment in District 156's Advanced Placement program and a new pre-engineering course has caused a shift in district staffing, the superintendent said.

The shifts have resulted in more sections in core areas like science, social studies, English and math and fewer sections in electives in the fine arts and business departments, Superintendent Mike Roberts said.

To accommodate the changes, the district had to shift teachers around though overall stable enrollment meant that the district only reduced the total number of teaching positions by 0.2.

No teachers were laid off due to the staffing changes, Roberts said.

The number of AP sections will jump to 20 next year with 1,405 student enrollments, up from 14 this year with 1,134 student enrollments. The program has grown steadily since the 2007-08 school year when there were only 180 student enrollments.

District 156 will also offer a new introduction to engineering design, a freshmen-level, hands-on class that will use 3-D modeling software, starting next year.

"Right out of the chute we have six sections," Roberts said.

The plan is to implement Project Lead the Way curriculum for three classes, including upper-level principles of engineering and engineering design and development, starting in the 2015-16 school year.

The district is also likely to see some administrative changes.

Brent Raby, the district's director of curriculum and instruction, was offered a position as the West Aurora school district's new assistant superintendent for teaching and learning.

His contract is still being negotiated, and so he has not submitted his resignation to District 156, he said. The district cannot look for replacement until he does so.

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