Jan. 22, 2007

How have other schools coped, when it comes to tighter budgets?

Some districts feature administrative staff who wear many hats

Breakdown of administrative costs for area school districts (PDF)

By Lynda Jensen

When it comes to leaner budgets and tighter belts, area school districts have dealt with shrinking dollars in a variety of ways.

When it comes to administrative staff, many school districts have staff members who perform more than one function.

This is especially true when it comes to three roles in particular curriculum directors, the dean of students, and activities directors. For the purposes of discussion, figures are shown from five area schools, of which four out of the five are part of the Wright County Conference (size wise).

In addition, two other schools, Litchfield and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, have one elementary principal for two different elementaries inside their districts (see chart), while DC has one principal for each building.

When it comes to the dean of students, three out of five area schools surveyed have a position that doubles up with a different position (HLWW, Litchfield and Watertown-Mayer).

Litchfield employs a middle school administrative assistant, who serves as a dean of students half the time, with the other half spent performing duties as a middle school math teacher.

HLWW has its athletic director act both as the informal dean of students, as well as teaching in the classroom part time.

Watertown-Mayer employs a full-time middle school assistant principal.

Annandale has two deans of students, but both of them perform other duties, with the high school dean of students working in the classroom 25 percent of the time, and the middle school dean in the classroom 30 percent of the time. Dassel-Cokato has a full-time dean of students.

For curriculum directors, three out of five schools have other administrative staff perform this function.

In Litchfield, the curriculum director is paid on a part-time, hourly basis, with hours that vary year to year.

For HLWW, the middle school principal performs the duties of curriculum director.

At Watertown-Mayer, each department head is responsible for curriculum. The middle school assistant principal is in charge of staff development.

For activity directors, two of the five perform other functions, Litchfield and Watertown-Mayer. The activities director in Litchfield also acts as the assistant principal in the high school.

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Watertown-Mayer also features a three-fold combination, where the activities director acts as the high school assistant principal and dean of students.

School budget forum set for Monday, Jan. 29

The school is looking for input about budget cuts. To this end, a forum is being conducted at the Performing Arts Center, Monday, Jan. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m.

It will be hosted by the PTA, and all community members are welcome.

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