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Lynn schools readying for new year

LYNN-As the Parent Information Center at the Lynn Public Schools continues to deal with last-minute enrollments, the administration is nearly finished with staffing all of the schools to ensure reasonable class size in the coming year.Noting that enrollment increases have been sporadic and more spread out than in years past, Superintendent Catherine Latham said she has been forced to use nearly all of her available “to be decided” positions on teachers, and new enrollments are still coming in.”We still have a lot of people coming in – it has been very, very busy down there (in the PIC),” she said. “We have used up most of the TBD’s on teachers, and now we are just working to cover any hot spots that crop up with all of these late registrations.”In making the fiscal year 2010 budget, Latham set aside 15 paid positions as “to be decided” in case enrollment changes left some schools with too many students in one grade.Some of the TBD positions were handed out earlier this summer to ease the enrollment increases at Breed, Pickering and Marshall middle schools after the Ford School’s middle school program was eliminated, while others have been sent to the city’s elementary and high schools this month.Although she has been forced to add positions at some schools, Latham said other programs have been reduced due to lack of enrollment, citing one all-day kindergarten program at the Aborn School as an example.”We were able to take one of those two positions away,” she said. “It doesn’t look like we need to re-open it.”The increase in need for teachers likely ruins any chance of the city restoring hall monitor positions to the secondary schools, something Latham had originally hoped to use some of the TBD positions for.Along with filling teacher positions, the School Department is still waiting to hire two vice principals in the district, one at Breed Middle School and the other at Classical High School.Breed, which received an additional vice principal when the Ford program closed, is looking to replace retired VP Robert Frodema, who stepped aside last year. Latham said eight people have applied for the Breed position. Principal Fred DuPuis will begin interviews this week.At Classical, where former Vice Principal Gene Constantino was hired to replace retiring Principal Warren White this summer, six individuals have submitted applications for his former job.Constantino beat out fellow VP Richard Sackowich and Classical Freshman Academy Principal Judith Taylor for White’s job this summer, but says both of his colleagues will stay on with the school.Sackowich will continue to serve as vice principal, while Taylor will run the academy as a freshman guidance councilor as the program moves back into the building O’Callaghan Way after two years at Fecteau-Leary on North Common Street because of construction.Unlike past years when one or two schools seemed to take on all of the new students, Latham said the enrollment moves have been spread out across the district.One school that is seeing a particularly large spike is English High School, where enrollment is expected to surpass 1,700 students this year at a school that is already the most populated in the city.As a result of that figure, Latham said former Lynn Vocational and Technical Institute Assistant Director Joseph O’Hagan, who was transferred to English late last year, will remain with the school as a third vice principal in 2009-10.”Mr. O’Hagan will be staying at English for the foreseeable future,” she said. “It is a good thing, they are closing in on 1,700 students there, so (Principal Andrew Fila) could use the help.”

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