Hirings aim to ease impact of large classes at Greensburg Salem
Greensburg Salem school directors approved on Wednesday hiring four instructional aides at a cost of nearly $115,000 to ease the effects of large class sizes in the district's three elementary schools.
In an 8-0 vote, directors endorsed hiring two aides for James H. Metzgar, and one aide each at Robert F. Nicely and Amos K. Hutchinson. Director Barbara Vernail didn't attend.
Metzgar had been short one assistant because of 2012-13 budget cuts the school board made last summer.
Directors supported hiring the aides after Superintendent Eileen Amato and Ashley Nestor, coordinator of elementary education, offered three options for the schools.
Directors selected option two, which Amato recommended.
“We like option two, but option two comes at the cost you see on the paper,” Amato said. “If we spend it, we can't spend it on other things.”
Option one called for hiring eight teachers for $372,536, while option three called for hiring one aide for Metzgar at a cost of nearly $29,000.
Director Lee Kunkle opposed hiring the teachers.
“How can we fund $372,000 ... four months into (the school year)?” he said.
In their proposal, administrators targeted seven classrooms in Hutchinson, six in Nicely and five classrooms in Metzgar as concerns because of teacher-student ratios.
Nestor said she viewed three sections of kindergarten with 24, 24 and 25 students at Hutchinson, as well as four fourth-grade classes with 28 students as concerns.
At Nicely, 27 students in the two second-grade classes, 27 students in the two fourth-grade classes and 28 and 27 students in the two fifth-grade classes are concerns, Nestor said.
At Metzgar, administrators pointed to 25 students in first grade, 30 and 29 students in the two third-grade classes and 27 and 28 pupils in the fourth-grade classes as concerns.
Amato said she supported option two because it offered help but didn't require students to go to another classroom, as hiring new teachers would. Hutchinson further has no space left to use for a classroom, she said.
Robin Mattes, a Nicely parent who questioned teacher-student ratios last month, told directors she liked option two the best.
“I think option two is a good, honest try, and I really appreciate that,” she said. “Option three, not at all.”
She said she hopes directors “understand it's not a fix; it's a Band-Aid.”
The district will be handling talks about the 2013-14 budget differently, Amato said, considering class sizes more.
Directors have been hampered by a tight budget and even greater concerns about being able to balance the 2013-14 budget.
Before hiring the aides, administrators tried to ease the effects of large class sizes by using support personnel.
The aides will divide time among the classrooms in the schools, administrators indicated.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
- Excela, Pitt-Greensburg team on legacy videos for those in twilight of lives
- Harrold Middle School students hit new high with food drive
- Mt. Pleasant plan has no call for tax increase
- Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing
- Mt. Pleasant Guard unit may be deployed again
- Dining at Applebee’s helps Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action
- Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, Youngwood discuss sewage system sale
- Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
- Hempfield property tax addition pushed as township’s fire departments struggle