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Board may add 5 teachers in effort to cut class sizes

The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District is looking at adding the equivalent of five full-time instructors to the payroll next year in what is largely an effort to reduce class sizes.

Staffing was one of the areas discussed at length Wednesday when the School Board met in a special session on development of the 2007-08 budget. The forum, held in a cafeteria at Kenmore West High School, was attended almost exclusively by district representatives.

Another forum and a couple of budget work sessions are scheduled before the board adopts a budget in April.

Cameron Morton, assistant superintendent for human resources, led the presentation on staffing at the district's 13 schools.

Kindergarten teachers will be added at Edison and Franklin elementary schools, where enrollment increases of 10 and 11 pupils, respectively, are anticipated. At Edison, the addition will maintain class size for kindergarten at 17.

At some schools, including Franklin, some instructors are paid through a grant for class-size reductions.

Kenmore East and West high schools are among eight buildings where declining enrollment is forecast, yet staff will be added at both. The enrollment at Kenmore East is expected to drop from 1,164 to 1,117, while Kenmore West's enrollment is expected to drop from 1,740 to 1,702.

Social studies teachers will be added at both buildings to reduce class size, Morton said.

While some teachers whose positions are being eliminated will be transferred to other buildings, the two social studies teachers to be added at the high schools are part of an overall net increase of five, Morton said.

For budgeting purposes, each full-time position will cost the district an estimated $50,000 in salary and benefits, he said.

Districtwide, the number of support staff, which includes mentors, teachers for the gifted and talented, and psychologists, will remain the same in 2007-08.


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