More Esky kindergarteners than planned

ESCANABA — More students are attending the Webster Kindergarten Center than previously planned. According to Webster Kindergarten Center Principal Krista Johnson, that has changed the anticipated student-teacher ratio at the center.

The issue was discussed at Monday’s Escanaba School Board meeting.

Coby Fletcher, superintendent of Escanaba Area Public Schools, initially said in May there would only be 15 to 18 students in each kindergarten classroom. At this time, there are a ratio of 20 students to one teacher.

“Which, it’s a really nice problem we have,” said Fletcher, “but it’s a problem we have to address.”

Fletcher proposed adding an additional kindergarten section to get the student-teacher ratio to where it should be.

Fletcher mentioned adding a teacher for the additional section. To do this, he presented the board with three options. Option one is to hire from within the district. Option two is to post the position outside the district, and option three was to start from within, post outside the district, and hire. No matter which option is taken, there will be some kindergartners moved from the classroom they are currently in to a new one.

“Each teacher will provide two or three children to go to the new section,” said Johnson.

To keep the amount of disruption down, Fletcher recommended option one because it can be implemented in the shortest period of time.

“We don’t want to keep kindergartners in classrooms longer then they should be,” said Fletcher, “They are getting use to their teacher, classmates and classroom.”

In other business:

– Dan Flynn, president of the school board, requested all sinking fund campaign signs be turned in to be reused. The school district is seeking passage of a sinking fund millage in November’s general election — the second time in one year the issue as been put before voters.

“This time,” Fletcher said, “the community will have more information of the sinking fund. Projects will be identified and brought to the board and there will be better communication.”

– Fletcher also updated enrollment numbers presented at the board’s Sept. 10 meeting. Previously, it was reported the count of students was over by 103.79 FTE.

“After a little settling, on Friday the count of students was a bit over 95, and a couple of decimal points,” said Fletcher.

The numbers are up due to the new programs started and the willingness of the staff to implement them, according to Fletcher.

– Escanaba’s Homecoming Week will be Sept. 24 to 28.

– SAT results have been received and Escanaba gained 10 to 11 points compared to the previous year. The state has a composite score of 1,000.1, and Escanaba’s composite score is 1,041. The SAT results come from 11th graders taking the three-day test in April.

– The next Committee of the Whole meeting is Monday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m., in the courtyard room at the Escanaba Upper Elementary.