Even though Creston School Board voted unanimously Monday to pass a motion to hire a new teacher for a sixth third-grade section, the decision has been dropped because of a decline in student numbers and unavailability of a high-quality teacher.
During a special board meeting Monday, Creston Superintendent Steve McDermott presented the board members with a memo containing details on the subject and his recommendation to not add a sixth section. However, board members felt the addition was needed based on learning time for students and class size for teachers.
Staying the same
“Our staff will certainly keep a close eye on our third graders to make sure they are all receiving the instruction and attention necessary to learn successfully,” said McDermott.
With the reduction of students, class sizes will be 24 students per class.
“We don’t have sections of 26 and 27, as we had anticipated,” McDermott said. “And, our teachers are confident that they can serve those students at those class sizes.”
McDermott said someone volunteered for the teaching position, but there were complications in the proceedings and it became difficult to find a teacher on short notice.
Scott Driskell, Creston Elementary School principal, also looked into hiring a new or retired teacher for the position, or as a long-term substitute the first semester, but was unsuccessful.
These factors played a part in to the decision to stay with five sections.
“We thought numbers were going to be manageable as they stood, and at this late date we thought it would be extremely difficult to find a high-quality instructor,” said McDermott. “And, if you put a mediocre teacher in the position, it would defeat the purpose of having the extra section.”