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Parkland Administrators Ask for 9 New Staff Positions

State mandates, program changes and enrollment uncertainties drive requests to add staff.

Rodney R. Troutman (standing, at far right), the assistant superintendent of Parkland Schools, makes a presentation on staffing needs to the school board on Tuesday night. (Patch, Daryl Nerl)
Rodney R. Troutman (standing, at far right), the assistant superintendent of Parkland Schools, makes a presentation on staffing needs to the school board on Tuesday night. (Patch, Daryl Nerl)

Parkland School District administrators are asking the school board to add or restore nine staff positions to district schools, including six teachers, a supervisor and two support staff.

New state mandates are driving several of the requests, according to Rodney R. Troutman, the assistant superintendent, who delivered a report on district personnel needs to the school board on Tuesday night.

For example, Pennsylvania’s emerging requirement that student’s pass standardized, subject-based Keystone Exams to graduate is behind a request to hire one dual-certified high school teacher to help satisfy anticipated demand for remedial science and math courses, Troutman said.

Increasing state requirements for teacher observation and evaluation is behind a request to hire one new instructional supervisor for Parkland High School, Troutman said.

There are other factors as well, Troutman said. A request for a new high school music teacher is based on recent changes to the middle school schedule and high school band requirements that have resulted in explosive growth for not just the high school band, but the high school chorus, Troutman said.

The Parkland band, currently at 240 members, is expected to grow toward 300 next year. The chorus, which now has 380 voices could add 60 new students next year, Troutman said.

The unpredictability of new Kindergarten students at district elementary schools relates to a request for two new elementary school teachers. If Kindergarten enrollment doesn’t match expectations, the request will be dropped, Troutman said.

The presentation also included requests for a new district technology coach, an additional teacher for Springhouse Middle School, one high school special education teacher and a health room aide.

“I wouldn’t come to you with this unless I thought it was absolutely necessary to continue the quality education that our children get,” Troutman told board members, who appeared receptive.

“I’m very pleased that we are starting to backfill some of the positions,” said Director Robert E. Bold.

No action was necessary on Tuesday. Presumably, the decisions on the majority of these requests can wait until the board adopts a 2013-14 budget—which the board has decided cannot have a tax increase of greater than 2.1 percent.

Scott Laughton January 29, 2014 at 04:01 PM
Is South Whitehall Patch dead? The Morning Call says 3/4 of the employees are gone today.... such a shame

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