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April 18, 2005

Staffing plan includes fewer positions in 2005-06

Next year’s staffing plan shows a reduction of more than four positions as a result of revenue caps and other state funding issues. Educational Services and Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz presented the plan to School Board members.

Templeton Middle School will see the greatest drop in full-time equivalency (FTE) positions with 3.23 FTEs eliminated in the allied arts area. The high school will lose the equivalency of one position taken from various areas. The elementary schools, including Willow Springs Learning Center, will have the same number of FTE positions as this year despite projections for increased enrollment.

Because of the tight funding scenario soon to be decided in Madison, School Board members were not able to include contingency teaching positions to cover unexpected enrollments that they typically have included in past budgets. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said the district is hoping that enrollment will increase in the right areas so that higher student population will allow for state aid to hire additional staff..

“Funding is a problem,” Schultz said.

“This is the tightest budget we have ever had,” Cooke said. “The cuts are the deepest they have ever been.”

The School Board approved in February a move from an eight- to a seven-period day at Templeton. The schedule change lengthened core academic classes, but reduced the number of allied arts classes such as family and consumer education, technology education, art, computer and health. The staffing plan reflected that move.

Included in the Templeton positions are a .2 FTE to support teachers as they integrate technology and a .5 FTE to support struggling students, formerly called “Content Mastery.” Depending on state Legislative action, the district may be able to hire a Templeton Special Education and an elementary Early Reading Empowerment (EME) position.
The district used federal Title One funds this year to hire a .4 EME teacher who worked with selected Lannon students struggling in mathematics. Schultz said that if the state budget supports it, the district will hire a full-time teacher to work with students at the four elementary schools in 2005-06. Administrators will present the School Board with a plan as to how that will happen.

Selected trees will be cut on high school property

About five percent of the trees in the wooded area south of Hamilton High School’s football field will be harvested, bringing the district $6,855 in revenue for the lumber. The School Board approved the bid from Hanson & Leja Lumber Company of Watertown to select cut trees that were identified by Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials for removal. By removing the older growth, more sunlight will get to younger trees allowing them to thrive. District staff have been working with DNR staff to reinforce the wooded area and allow it to rejuvenate.

Personnel changes approved

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the resignation of Marcy Early Childhood teacher Michelle Schmitz, effective at the end of the school year;
  • accepted the retirement of groundskeeper Harold Becker, effective Aug. 2;
  • granted a leave of absence during 2005-06 for Lannon second grade teacher Lisa Lawson; and
  • appointed Amy Hernandez to replace Kim Krimmer as accounts payable administrative assistant in the Business Office beginning May 2.