Amid efforts to cut expenses, the Frontier Local school district is hiring an additional teacher to deal with a crowded class at Newport Elementary School.
Newport's fourth-grade class has 34 students, and some of their parents approached the Frontier Local Board of Education during Monday's meeting about splitting the class.
"We are concerned about the quality of education the kids are receiving because there are kids in that class with special needs and there are also kids that excel at what they do," said Anna Snyder, 32, of Newport.
Snyder said the teacher is doing her best but spending so much time assisting students with special needs that other students are falling behind.
Superintendent Bruce Kidder said he'd been working on the issue and that morning hired a long-term substitute at a salary of $70 a day. After she works 60 consecutive days, she will move to the first step of the salary schedule, which is $26,602 a year.
Principal Greg Morus and other teachers will work to determine how best to address the situation. One possibility is both teachers working in the same room.
"We'll weigh the options, see which is going to be the best," Morus said.
Snyder said she was satisfied with the action taken.
"We appreciate what you've done," she said.
Lawrence Township resident Barb Bohlen spoke up and asked the board whether they had considered sending any of those students to Lawrence Elementary School, whose low enrollment is one reason it's been considered for closure in the last year.
"What's the point of trying to save money if you're going to hire more teachers?" she said.
"I'm taking care of kids," Kidder said.
In another change, the district is reducing the cook's position at Lawrence to a two-hour-a-day assignment, with food being prepared at and transferred from Newport Elementary. Kidder said only about 25 of Lawrence's 48 students eat lunch at the school.