Tupper Lake school budget to restore several positions

The Tupper Lake School Board meets Monday, May 7 at the L.P. Quinn Elementary School.

The Tupper Lake School Board meets Monday, May 7 at the L.P. Quinn Elementary School. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Tupper Lake Central School District Superintendent Seth McGowan explained some of the teacher restorations in the proposed 2012-13 budget at the budget hearing Monday, May 7 in the L.P. Quinn Elementary School library.

Nobody voiced opposition to the budget during the hearing.

When the district cut positions a few years ago, teachers shuffled around to places where they were needed, and that didn’t always work best for the schools, according to McGowan. Therefore, School Board members drafted a list of educational priorities to restore some of those positions that were cut.

In the elementary school, for instance, staff was trimmed to three teachers per grade, instead of four. So, if the budget passes as is, the school will be hiring one more elementary school teacher plus a teaching assistant.

The elementary school music teacher position that was previously cut will be restored, offering music instruction and giving the school a chance to resurrect its band and chorus.

A teaching assistant will be hired for the elementary school library, helping alleviate the strain of cutting the librarian’s position through attrition in the recent past. It’s “unlikely” it will be a librarian’s job, McGowan said, and is more likely to include working with students on research and computer skills.

Another new position includes science in the middle/high school. The superintendent said teacher Lori Ransom approached him with an “out-of-the-box idea” to combine her position into one that teaches home and careers, science and art at the middle/high school. That made room for the district to hire a new earth science teacher.

This move will allow the school to offer some “blended courses,” all research-based, and additional support for some students who are struggling in the sciences in grades 7-12, according to McGowan.

In the past few years, there have been teachers in a number of areas — foreign language, social studies and science — teaching out of their certification areas and teaching some of the specialist courses.

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