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District hires on

Alissa Widman Neese • Aug 18, 2014 at 10:50 AM


Perkins Schools has finalized plans to move its special education operations in-house for the first time.

At a brief meeting Wednesday, school board members OK'd hiring a handful of new special education employees.

Earlier this year, they agreed to axe a contract with North Point Educational Service Center, which previously operated the programs with its employees in Perkins Schools classrooms.

By hiring its own employees — a total of seven teachers and 15 educational aides — it's estimated Perkins Schools will save about $300,000 annually, superintendent Jim Gunner said.

Classes will still continue in the same classrooms, servicing a few dozen students of varying ages.

"We're not unhappy with North Point at all, but this is a way to save some money on overhead costs," Gunner said. "Additionally, it'll offer us some more flexibility for programming for those students."

The district's annual operating budget is about $21 million.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, board members discussed blacktop improvements at Briar Middle School and Perkins High School, which cost about $210,000 total.

The two projects are part of scheduled maintenance financed through the district's permanent improvement fund, Gunner said.

Erie Blacktop and The Kreimes Company teamed up for the tasks this summer.

The companies completely replaced the middle school's blacktop, and at the high school they filled cracks and resealed and restriped the blacktop.

"We worked with both companies so we could make our deadline, and the project bids came in about $9,000 lower total by doing it that way," Gunner said.

Additionally, board members agreed Wednesday to accept the retirement of Furry Elementary School principal Halley Leffler, effective Jan. 31, 2015.

Board members have not yet determined who will replace Leffler following her mid-school year retirement.

Board member Andy Carroll did not attend Wednesday's meeting.

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