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Pottsgrove, PA: "Unexpected surge" in SPED enrollment; 'some ...with great needs'

Sept 29, 2018, Sanatoga (PA) Post: Pottsgrove Looks To Hire Unbudgeted Assistants An unexpected surge in enrollment of Pottsgrove School District students with significantly high special education requirements – “some of them with great needs,” according to Superintendent Dr. William Shirk – may result in hiring an estimated seven unbudgeted full-time student assistants, the Board of School Directors heard Tuesday night (Sept. 25, 2018). Director of Pupil Services Kathryn Pacitto reported Pottsgrove had registered “close to 45” special education students since July 1. None of the money for the hires necessary to accommodate some of them is budgeted in the current academic year, Shirk acknowledged. … This year’s special education enrollment levels are “similar to trends we’ve seen in recent years,” Pacitto observed. The difference, she noted, is that the newest arrivals’ “needs are greater” and could not have been have anticipated. The district teaching staff is apparently sufficient for the additional learners. However, support staffers like student assistants must be either added or raised from part-time to full-time status, she said. …

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