By Meghan Glova
Central Oregon Daily
The start of a news school year means plenty of new faces, and Crook County got more than they expected
And due to an increase in student enrollment, the Crook County School District is hiring additional staff to keep up
“We are up 33 students over the projected enrollment for the 19/20 school year, which is really exciting for our community,” said Kimberly Bonner, principal at Crooked River Elementary School. “We’re happy to have these kids, we stand ready to provide excellent customer service whenever we can. We have the need to add just a few more positions which we are actively pursuing.”
“We are responding positively to this increase in enrollment,” said CCSD Superintendent Sara Johnson. “We brought the leadership team together, identified the pain points, then problem-solved, utilizing everyone’s best thinking. Everyone has a common aim: Do what is best for our students!”
When the school year ended in June, CCSD had 2,894 students. As of Monday morning, there were 3,119 students – an increase of 225 students.
With more students comes more state funding.
Funding that will be used to hire two elementary school teachers, a middle school teacher, a special education teacher, and five instructional assistants throughout the district.
“We welcome any student into our building any time,” Bonner said. “Our teachers have been fantastic, and we’re just grateful to have the opportunity to add some staff to help out.”
Crooked River Elementary plans to hire three teachers of its own.
Crook County Middle School ended last year with 610 students, this year that number jumped to 688.
But Principal Sloper says so far they’re handling it well.
“I think any time you have an increase of this magnitude, it puts stress on your systems and procedures,” said Principal Kurt Sloper. “But we’re in a position where we’ve been able to keep our class sizes at a very manageable level.”
Bonner and Sloper agree that smaller class sizes make for an ideal learning environment
And hiring more teachers will only benefit each school.
“We’re a large enough district and school where we can still provide all of our students with the resources, opportunities, and the programs they deserve,” Sloper said. “But we’re still small enough to give kids individual attention.”