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Elementary seeking third kindergarten teacher

The Blackduck Elementary School is currently in search of a third kindergarten teacher due to an enlarged class size of 52 enrolled students and a possibility of more this fall.

At its Aug. 12 meeting, the District 32 Board of Education approved the elementary school to hire a third teacher should the kindergarten enrollment number surpass 50. On Aug. 12, the number of new kindergarteners was hovering near the cutoff mark, but the need for another instructor couldn't be determined until the new student registration closed the following Wednesday.

"We try to keep a ratio of about 15 students a teacher for Kindergarten," Superintendent Wally Schoeb said. "Once we hire someone, we'll have three sections of about 15 to 16 kids."

The application period will be open from Aug. 16-30. Schoeb hopes to have a teacher in the classroom right away alongside an experienced teacher to help them transition to the new surroundings.

"Usually a former teacher will come up from retirement to mentor the new teacher," he said. "There are things that new teachers just don't know on the first day — where the bathrooms are, how to get to the cafeteria, etc. This is a common practice for someone who comes in with less experience."

The school also keeps on a regular mentor who assists full-time teachers with day-to-day tasks and obstacles.

"It's someone we keep on hand for teachers to seek help," Schoeb said.

Hiring a third kindergarten instructor is also not a new practice for Blackduck Schools. The District has had to hire extra hands in the past to accommodate rising class numbers.

"Three years ago, there were three sections," Schoeb said. "You never know for sure."