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Perkins Schools rehires eight positions

Alissa Widman Neese • Sep 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Perkins Schools restored Wednesday about half the teaching positions eliminated from the middle and elementary schools this summer.


At a brief meeting, board members recalled eight teachers to part-time jobs, the equivalent of paying four full-time staff members. Most will teach special classes for elementary school students, such as art, physical education, computer and music.

In June, board members eliminated nine full-time teachers from the middle and elementary schools, mostly for special classes, but earlier this week superintendent Jim Gunner said a few key reasons made the rehires possible and necessary:

• Perkins Schools received $600,000 in state funding this year, up $200,000 from the $400,000 initially anticipated.

• District officials didn’t want to shorten the school day by completely eliminating some special classes.

• Teachers union contract details prohibited district officials from eliminating a teacher’s planning period to teach special classes, which was considered as part of the initial cost-saving plan.

• Increased enrollment in kindergarten and fifth grade.

“There is still a reduction in programming and this isn’t a full restoration,” Gunner said at Wednesday’s meeting.

Also at the meeting, board members accepted the resignation of technology director Patrick Kania, who left the district this past month for a job as Norwalk High School assistant principal. The district will not replace him this year.

About 50 people attended Wednesday’s meeting, including about 30 students attending for a class assignment. No one spoke during the public participation portion of the meeting.

Despite the short, quiet meeting, public scrutiny of the district abounds throughout Perkins Township. Particular concerns address the district’s upcoming November levy vote and recently inflated pay-toparticipate fees for middle and high school students, a result of the August levy’s failure.

A parent contacted the Register on Wednesday, stating several parents are concerned about pay-toparticipate fees varying for different high school sports, although all students were initially told they’d be required to pay $730 per activity.

As of Wednesday, five total anonymous donors provided Perkins Schools with funds to offset pay-to-participate fees for some sports and individual athletes, according to receipts the Register obtained from treasurer Lisa Crescimano.

Three previously reported donations total $1,685, with $220 toward band, $770 toward cross country and $695 toward girls tennis. Two new donations are $2,190 toward the football program and $2,042 toward the girls tennis program, which would lower the overall pay-to-participate cost for some athletes.

Board president Matt Koisor and board member Brian Printy did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.

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