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District 25 approves major staff shuffle to meet 16:1 mandate

Apr 11, 2012 - By Carolyn B. Tyler, Staff Writer

A school staffing plan that will affect 34 educators in Fremont County School District 25 for the 2012-13 academic year was approved by the Riverton school board on Tuesday.

The plan includes the hiring of new teachers, elimination of some positions, transfer of some individuals, and a cutback in working hours for others.

Superintendent Terry Snyder said the plan was drawn up not only to work toward the mandated 16:1 state mandated teacher/pupil ratio in kindergarten through third grade but also in the best interest of "fiscal responsibility."

State's biggest elementary

With the move of all third-grade classrooms from the current K-3 schools -- Ashgrove, Aspen Park and Jackson -- to the Rendezvous Elementary School building, where there is sufficient room for extra sections of third grade, Rendezvous, currently a fourth- and fifth-grade elementary building, will become the largest elementary school in the state of Wyoming.

To meet these extra demands, the board will add a position of assistant principal to that school, under current principal, Mary Jo Chouinard. Currently the elementary schools do not have assistant principals.

The district will be adding eight K-3 teaching positions to work toward the state-mandated 16:1 ratio, plus one fourth-grade teaching position because of heavy enrollment at that level.

Programs eliminated

To fund the certified positions, the district will not rehire any of the 14 paraprofessionals who were hired in November and December.

The district also will gain six certified positions, which will equate to regular elementary classroom positions, by eliminating three elementary reading coach positions, two elementary reading intervention positions, and one elementary position through a resignation because of illness.

Federal funding has been discontinued for several ancillary positions that will be discontinued. This includes an intervention teacher at Rendezvous, a half-time parent liaison at Riverton High School, a behavior interventionist for the middle school and high school, and a half-time writing interventionist at Rendezvous.

Other programs eliminated because of the loss of federal

funding are a district program coordinator, an LA intervention person, a behavior interventionist at Aspen Park and Ashgrove, a math interventionist at the middle school and a middle school academic coach.

Other general fund positions eliminated were the district wellness coordinator who will be reassigned in the district, the sixth-grade transition class (which combines the English as a second language coordinator and ELL teacher into one position with ELL certification), a half-time counselor at Ashgrove, and reduction of the Spartan Academy and middle school careers positions to half-time.

Faculty additions

In addition to the Rendezvous assistant principal and the nine teachers in K-4, the district will add staffing for elementary art, music, physical education, computers, media, social worker, nursing for one full-time position, two social studies teachers for the sixth-grade, two sections of high school English and a half-time secretary position at the high school to accommodate the new safety standards being constructed at the entryway of RHS.

Snyder said additional positions are being considered in order of priority and these will be finalized by the time contracts are extended April 15.