Further analysis confirmed the need for additional staff at Hinsdale Central High School next year, District 86 officials said.
The Hinsdale High School District 86 Board approved hiring the equivalent of 6.4 more full-time teachers than are on the staff this year. Enrollment next year is expected to rise by 79 more students.
An additional teacher or nearly the equivalent of another full-time teacher will be added to the English, mathematics, social studies and special education departments, along with other positions.
“Having a better sense of exactly how many students we would enroll next year along with their specific course registrations allowed us to create an actual schedule that showed us with great precision where class sizes exceed optimum levels,” Law stated.
The exercise showed specifically where additional staff were needed “to ensure our ability to offer a wide range of course options that support students’ ability to meet graduation requirements and achieve their postsecondary education and career goals,” Law said.
Without the additional staff, a report on student registration and scheduling showed: three sections of U.S. history with 30 or more students, including one with 36 students; five sections of AP U.S. history with 30 or more students, including one with 38; three sections of American politics with more than 30 students, including one with 34 students; and one section of AP U.S. government with 38 students.
Four sections of biology would have included two sections of 24 students, one with 34 students and one with 36 students.
Nine sections of health class would have ranged in size from 30 to 36.
Law acknowledged the analysis showed some class sizes would have been “eye-popping.”
In freshmen physical education classes, the target size for is 45, Law said, but seven sections would have had more than 50 students. One section would have had 63 students.
Of the additional staff hired, 0.8 full-time equivalent positions will be allocated to physical education. Of that allocation, 0.2 equivalents will be assigned to freshman physical education.
School Board President Richard Skoda, a former history teacher, agreed without the additional teachers, some class sizes would have been too large.
“I wouldn’t want to be in there,” Skoda said. “I wouldn’t want to teach it. I wouldn’t want your child in it either.”
Skoda said despite rhetoric about the board and administration’s approach to staffing from community members, the result will be an appropriate educational experience for all the students.