Source: Sherman Publications

Count down, as expected

by Phil Custodio

October 16, 2013

This fall's count day showed a reduction in Clarkston Community School student population, as officials expected.

"We anticipate, before the official audit from Oakland Schools, a loss of about 70 students, which is where we budgeted," said Superintedent Dr. Rod Rock.

With state funding of $7,140 per pupil in the 2014 school year, that would mean $499,800 less for Clarkston Community Schools.

Staff cuts were made over the summer to make up the difference. To deal with the cuts and increased class sizes, administration recommended hiring extra classroom aides to help out.

Clarkston Board of Education School board voted unanimously, Sept. 23, to approve the plan.

The plan was based on analysis of the numbers, consulting with elementay principals, and personally visiting classrooms, said Shawn Ryan, deputy superintendent

Audited student headcount in fall 2012 was 8,031; and 8,023 in spring 2013.

The plan adds 29 hours of non-certified aide support, for $29,400 total from the general fund. Aides are paid $9.80 per hour.

The additions are allowed for in teacher contracts, Ryan said.

Aides will be assigned to elementary school "hotspots" throughout the district, providing additional support for classroom teachers, he said.

Areas of concern include second grade at Bailey Lake Elementary; fifth grade at Independence Elementary; grades 2 and 3 at Pike Knob Elementary; third grade at North Sashabaw Elementary; grades 1 and 3 at Springfield Plains Elementary; and grades 3 and 5 at Clarkston Elementary.

An alternative plan was to add three certified teacher assistants for $51,156. It would not have been supported by the contract, Ryan said.