JPS to hire one principal for two schoolsLouis L’Amour and Washington Elementary schools will soon share the time of one principal. The Jamestown Public School Board approved an administrative proposal at its meeting Monday that would require one administrator to serve as principal to both elementary schools.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
Louis L’Amour and Washington Elementary schools will soon share the time of one principal.
The Jamestown Public School Board approved an administrative proposal at its meeting Monday that would require one administrator to serve as principal to both elementary schools.
It’s a measure that will save Jamestown Public Schools at least $50,000, according to JPS Superintendent Bob Toso.
“We have looked at all of our options with trimming the budget,” Toso said. “I know this isn’t a popular move and it’s certainly a tough decision.”
The board approved the motion 6-3, with discussion on the issue heard from both sides of the aisle.
Washington Elementary School Principal David Saxberg is leaving the district effective July 1 to take another position. Louis L’Amour Elementary School Principal Vikki Coombs will then serve as the principal to both schools beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.
“I have talked to teachers who are concerned about the idea of one principal for two schools, and while I don’t necessarily like the idea of it either, I understand that it gets us to where we wanted to be with deficit spending,” said Rosemary McDougall, JPS Board member who voted in favor of the proposal.
Other board members, such as JPS Board President Greg Allen, were a bit skeptical.
“If we find creative ways to fill that gap of having one principal at two schools then I would be a lot more comfortable with this decision,” said Allen, who voted against the change.
Also voting against the motion were Gary Peterson and JPS Board Vice President Tanya Ostlie.
Concerns were also raised regarding if this one-principal system did not end up being an effective solution.
“What if we sit back a year from now and it’s just not working?” asked Heidi Larson, JPS Board member who voted in favor of the motion.
Toso said if it turned out to be something that simply was not successful, then it could be changed.
Approval of the administrative proposal allowed the board to move forward with its draft of the 2012-2013 school year’s budget.
Total projected revenue is for JPS is $23.4 million, with expenditures at $24.2 million — making for about an $833,000 deficit, according to Sally Ost, JPS business manager.
“We feel very comfortable about where the budget is. We didn’t have to make some of the cuts we thought we might have had to,” Toso said.
Part of the budget includes two motions that were approved at Monday’s meeting — funding for an athletic trainer as well as for an update to the Read 180 program.
The board unanimously approved a three-year term for an athletic trainer position with JPS through Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The position will be salaried at $27,000 for the first year, $28,500 for the second year and $30,000 for the third year.
The board also unanimously approved a $42,000 update to the Read 180 program, an online program currently used in the school system to help students’ reading levels.
“If we don’t support reading, then we really can’t support anything,” said Roy Musland, JPS Board member.
At previous meetings, the board had aimed to get to an $850,000 deficit, for which Ost said it should be able to do once the final budget numbers are put together.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com