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More teachers in final Hampton school budget

| Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

The Hampton School District will hire five additional teachers to due to increased elementary enrollment and to reduce classroom populations in the coming school year.

The board approved a 2017-18 budget with three additional full-time teachers and two full-time, long-term substitutes for Hampton's elementary schools.

A sixth hiring is a possibility.

Two full-time teachers will be hired for fourth-grade classrooms at Central and Wyland. And another full-time teacher will be hired at Poff, giving it three fourth-grade classrooms. The long-term substitutes will be added for a new classroom for grades one and three at Poff.

Two teacher moves are also proposed to make a fourth second-grade room at Central and a third grade-four room at Wyland.

Michael Loughead, superintendent of schools, said enrollment numbers fluctuate as families move in and out of the district throughout the year, so one more teacher is in reserve should that happen.

“I do have confidence in these numbers, but they do change every week,” Loughead said. Poff is the most unpredictable school, he said. There is continued registration and movement at Poff, and with the closing of local parochial schools, an influx of students could be in the offing.

Pete Catone, an elementary parent, expressed concrns over staffing concerns in previous meetings and thanked the board for the hirings.

“I appreciate your listening to our concerns,” he said.

Board member Mary Alice Hennessey said although some grades have high classroom numbers, there is an overall decrease of more than 300 students in the schools.

Lower elementary grades classrooms have approximately 20 students, however, fourth and fifth grades are higher.

Loughead said the option to move students from their current school to another remains possible.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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