School board OKs additional positions

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education last week approved creating 2.5 additional positions due to higher than expected enrollment at two elementary schools.

September enrollment figures showed 46 first-grade students in two classes, 23 in each, at Hop Brook Elementary School, according to information given to the board. At Maple Hill Elementary School there were 90 kindergarten students enrolled in four classes, meaning class sizes of 22 or 23 students.

In order to reduce the classes sizes, the school board approved an additional first-grade teacher and kindergarten teacher at Hop Brook and Maple Hill, respectively. The additional teachers will reduce the class sizes in first grade at Hop Brook to 15 and 16, and to 18 in kindergarten at Maple Hill.

The board also approved a new part-time elementary library media specialist to accommodate the library media and computer literacy classes for the new classes at Hop Brook and Maple Hill.

The new positions are estimated to cost $162,000, but won’t impact the budget. The money for the positions will come from cost savings — projected to be about $350,000 — the board realized this summer from filling numerous vacancies with younger teachers who earn lower salaries.

The positions approved last week came a month after the board approved hiring a fourth kindergarten teacher at Hop Brook to reduce class sizes down to 18 or 19 students per class.