Champaign ready if another kindergarten boom arrives
CHAMPAIGN — If the Champaign school district has another record-breaking kindergarten class enroll next fall, it has a plan for where to put them.
If need be, six kindergarten classrooms can be added at Bottenfield, Barkstall, Carrie Busey, Dr. Howard, Stratton and Kenwood elementaries, Susan Zola, the school district's assistant superintendent for achievement of curriculum and instruction, told the school board at its Monday meeting.
Superintendent Judy Wiegand said she wants to let parents going through the kindergarten assignment process know about where new possible classrooms will go. That way, they'll know all their options, she said.
The school board didn't vote on the proposal, and Wiegand said sharing the plan was purely informational.
If a kindergarten classroom is needed at Kenwood, it would require a portable classroom, Zola said. If one is needed at Barkstall, the classroom would be in the building and another program would move to one of the school's existing portable classrooms.
The school district added six kindergarten classes this year. If it needs the extra classrooms next year, it will cost the school district about $68,000 each, including a teacher's salary and benefits, supplies, furniture and technology, according to school board documents.
The school district is working with DeJong-Richter, an educational facilities planning firm, which will present a study of the school district's demographics this winter. That is expected to predict whether growing enrollment is a short- or long-term trend.
The school board also approved increasing the daily rates it pays substitute teachers, in order to be competitive with area school districts, according to board documents.
The new daily rate for a sub who works fewer than 425 hours is now $92 a day, or $46 for a half day. Subs who've worked more than 425 hours will earn $100 a day and Champaign school district retirees will earn $130 a day. Long-term substitutes, who work in the school district on a specific long-term assignment, will make about $195 a day. That rate is based on the salary of a first-year teacher, said Ken Kleber, the school district's executive director of human resources.