Fine balancing act with WHS classes, costs

By Kelsey Leyva -

<p style="text-align: left;">Wellington High School principal Tine Drake

Wellington High School principal Tine Drake

Overages nearing $50,000 have forced Wellington Schools administrators to reconsider some of the cuts made last school year.

An overage is when a class has too many students. The limit for elementary and middle schools is 25 students per classroom. The high school limit is 27.

Superintendent Dennis Mock said some classes were reaching 35 and 37 students. Every student over the limit costs the district $250 a semester.

Some high school students were also left with two and three study halls on their schedules as the 2015-2016 year began.

“When we reduced, we reduced so many electives that kids didn’t have electives to go to,” Mock said.

High school principal Tina Drake said some study halls were as large as 180 students. During lunch periods, the school lacked a room large enough to support a class of that size.

To counterbalance the overages and study halls, the district decided to bring back a half-time English and math teacher and a full-time technology instructor.

The five-year forecast for the district still includes former principal Tim Simpson’s salary and the curriculum director’s salary, which is how it’s able to afford the new teaching positions.

The amount left over from those two salaries is slightly less than $200,000.

Drake said the high school now offers psychology, sociology, astronomy, geology, speech, mythology, creative writing, technology, video technology, and Future Farmers of America as electives. She said the electives brought down the study hall numbers significantly.

“It’s taken us three months to get to this position where we now feel comfortable that we’re offering classes to our students to keep them here,” Mock said.

Next year, Mock hopes to align the high school and middle school bell schedule to make sharing the teachers easier.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.

Wellington High School principal Tine Drake

Wellington High School principal Tine Drake

By Kelsey Leyva