Archive for Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Growing pains gain attention

February 14, 2007

Two ongoing issues that often go hand in hand in the Basehor-Linwood school district -- the need for additional facilities and hiring and retaining quality teachers and employees -- resurfaced at Monday night's school board meeting.

The board voted, 6-0, to approve certified staffing changes for the 2007-2008 school year. Two new teachers -- one for math and another for reading -- will be hired at Basehor-Linwood Middle School next year.

"All of my classes are 28 and 29 (students) in math and reading," said Mike Boyd, BLMS principal.

With the hiring of the new teachers comes the need for two additional classrooms -- classrooms the middle school does not have. Middle school classes will spill over into Linwood Elementary School next year, however, Boyd and LES principal Vickie McEnroe said they have not yet worked out which classrooms the middle school classes will occupy within the elementary school.

LES is about 40 students away from its capacity of 150 students, but overcrowding is showing up in specific grade levels. McEnroe said LES is expecting two new students in second grade within the next week, which will cause the class grow to 25 students.

"Board criteria says classroom size should be at 24 for primary grades," Superintendent Bob Albers said. "If this happens during the year and it is not convenient to add another teacher, a teacher aide is hired."

The board approved, 6-0, a classroom aide position for the second grade at LES pending the 25th student. McEnroe said the district already has someone in mind for the position.

Two letters of retirement, one from Don Swartz, executive director of business and facilities and another from Athie Neas, Basehor-Linwood High School attendance secretary, were also accepted by the board, as well as a letter of resignation from Steve Blankenship, BLHS principal. All are effective at the conclusion of the 2006-2007 school year.

Albers announced that the search for a new principal of LES to replace Vickie McEnroe, who submitted a letter of retirement last month, is well underway.

"We had 42 candidates apply for the job," he said. "We screened it down to four."

A committee conducted interviews with the four candidates Wednesday.

A final list of names was not disclosed, but Albers also announced that several residents had been contacted to serve on the facility planning committee, which was discussed at the Jan. 29 work session.

"We have gotten positive responses from all but two people and we will be looking for replacements for them," he said.

In other action Monday night, the board:

  • Approved, 6-0, a one year contract with Easton Bus Service.
  • Approved, 6-0, the Board of Education Policy chapter D for final reading and chapter E for first reading.
  • Met in executive session for 30 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel and acquisition of real property.

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