Growth warrants positions at Carleston, Harris

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The Pearland ISD school board added three new positions to the current budget after enrollment was higher than expected.

Trustees on Sept. 13 agreed to add a bilingual teacher and assistant principal at Carleston Elementary and a teacher at Harris Elementary.

The district also added two cafeteria positions at Magnolia Elementary and Junior High West, to be covered by a separate food service budget.

The three academic positions have a budget impact of about $196,000 for the current year.

“We shot all our bullets on additional personnel before we got to these three,” Superintendent John Kelly said.

Kelly said he didn’t predict any new positions would be needed for the current year.

“Right now, we’re in good shape,” he told the board. “Enrollment sometimes climbs through October and then sort of levels off. Right now at the K through 4 level, even if it did rise, the waiver covers that necessity if need be. Of course, there are a ton of positions we’d like to add, but right now we’re hesitant to do so.”

The addition of another bilingual teacher at Carleston will bring the campus’ total to four. Two are designated for the dual language program, and a third had been serving as a “one-way” bilingual teacher. The one-way class, however, was exceeding the district’s goal enrollment of 22 to 1 by four students, district documents state: “The addition of one teacher would bring this ratio in line with other bilingual campuses.”

C.J. Harris Elementary requested an additional first grade teacher to meet the goal ratio.

“After the start of school, this grade level continues to be over by 2 students,” the district states. “Many attempts were made to balance classes district wide; however, these two schools required additional assistance we were unable to address internally.”

Story by Nicole Jones