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School mulls staff cuts

Superintendent Mike Bonnewell countered that the average size of the graduating class is around 30 students, signaling a declining student enrollment over the long-term, but he turned to the school board to decide whether to cut teaching positions.

"Those are the kinds of decisions you as a board have to make," he said.

No budget resolutions were made during the meeting, but Armstrong said any discussions about staff cuts would likely be held in open session. The board plans on holding a series of special meetings before submitting its final budget proposal on April 22.

In other business, the school board voted to approve the purchase of two new HEPA air filters for one of its kindergarten classes. The teacher and some of the parents reported that several of the children have been affected by allergies. The air quality of the school has been called into question by at least one board member who said renovation work is creating dust and other allergens.

"With all the stuff that's blowing through here I'm surprised there aren't more problems," said school board member Tina Armstrong. "If I were a parent, I would insist" that the new filters be installed.

Other potential air quality concerns involve new discoveries of asbestos in the older section of the school. These are expected to be removed over spring break from April 9-16, when children are not in the building. The asbestos abatement will take place in the boiler room, second floor corridors and other isolated areas of the school. Testing teams will be on site to perform ongoing air quality monitoring. Other construction work on the school is in various stages of completion and the school expects to spend about $1.8 million for renovation work next year.

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