Covering ‘Bubbles’

While enrollment is down throughout the Warren County School District, there are some “bubble numbers” in classes throughout the district that might require action.

“Enrollment numbers look pretty good,” Superintendent Dr. William Clark said of class size numbers throughout the district to the school board during a meeting held on Monday night.

He explained that administration is exploring potentially adding an aide or a reading specialist in a large class at Warren Area Elementary Center and the board voted on Monday to approve a new aide in a classroom at Allegheny Valley Elementary School.

“We want to make the community and the board aware that we’re monitoring the numbers,” Clark added.

Board Vice-president Donna Zariczny asked how administration determines whether an aide or a reading specialist is the appropriate response.

“We look at several factors,” Director of Administrative Support Services Amy Stewart said, explaining that factors such as future growth or retraction, number of special needs students, classroom chemistry and talking to the teacher and principal help form that decision.

At AVES, Clark said an aide is needed in a third grade classroom and he proposed funding the position through contingency.

Board member Tom Knapp asked Clark if he expected this position and Clark said that he did not. Zariczny said that the class numbers presented periodically to the board have “fluctuated a lot” over the last months.

“We can only predict with the numbers that we have,” Stewart noted. “(We) thought we would be going in another direction with that aide.” She said that she was confident this class size would “stay where it is.”

“Day 10 is a big day for enrollment for us,” Stewart explained, saying that the district “can predict with reasonable accuracy” class sizes after that date.

Stewart said on Friday that enrollment was 4,592, down from last October when enrollment came in at 4,661. She speculated that the number would decrease once 10-day withdrawals are processed for students that were enrolled but did not attend. “That’s why we wait… to do that yearly enrollment number,” she said.