Enrollment at Oysterponds exceeds expectations this year

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09/20/2013 3:28 PM |
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Oysterponds school officials have cancelled Tuesday's runoff election.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Oysterponds Elementary School’s enrollment exceeded administrators’ expectations this year.

Student enrollment at the Oysterponds Elementary School in Orient has exceeded administrators’ expectations for the 2013-14 school year — rising to a total of about 80 students.

Superintendent Richard Malone said during the school board’s regular meeting Tuesday night that 78 students have enrolled and two more are expected to do so in October. Mr. Malone had initially anticipated educating 66 students, down from 81 in 2012-13.

In August, Mr. Malone said the district was anticipating total enrollment of 75 students, but that number increased again in the past month.

He also said Tuesday that the district’s pre-K class has swelled to 13 students. That program, now in its second year, is aimed at nurturing early-childhood education and attracting new families and/or tuition students into the district.

Mr. Malone said five of the pre-K students are tuitioned.

The morning pre-K class combines with the kindergartners during the afternoons. There are currently seven kindergarten students, including one tuition student, he said, and the combined class includes both a full-time teacher and an aide, as well as either a math, literacy or technology teacher.


A special Oct. 1 meeting has been scheduled for the school board to discuss the district’s teacher contract.

Board president Dorothy-Dean Thomas said the purpose of the executive session is for the board to reach a consensus before it begins negotiations in November.

In July, the school board and the district’s teachers union approved a new two-year pact to replace the previous contract, which expired June 30, 2011.

The current 2013-14 school year includes a “hard freeze” on teacher salaries, which will be held flat with no step increases or annual raises.

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