By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
More teachers will be hired back this year as student enrollment across Del Norte County exceeded early projections, officials said yesterday.
"This is very good news," said Principal Jan Moorehouse of Del Norte High School, which will be picking up 80 percent of an added teacher to its roster.
The actual number of teachers to be added is four and seven-tenths, according to Superintendent Frank Lynch of the Del Norte County Unified School District. The reason the number is rounded is because some teaching duties will be shared between schools.
"The good news is we get to hire some teachers back ¬ó both for elementary and secondary levels," said Lynch. "The thing that really saved our bacon, you might say, is Castle Rock."
The Castle Rock Charter School surpassed its projected enrollment by 209 students ¬ó about 30 percent above the projection.
The total projected enrollment for the county was 5,409 students. By Sept. 8, the fifth day of the semester, enrollment was 5,468.
Because the increases vary throughout the district, Lynch said there will be some staffing changes.
One new teacher will be added to Bess Maxwell School, Crescent Elk, Joe Hamilton and Mary Peacock. Margaret Keating School will pick up a partial teaching position, as will Del Norte High School. One position will leave Pine Grove and a partial position will leave Sunset High School.
Redwood School, which has the greatest jump in students with 46, will pick up two new teachers.
"In most grade levels, this is working out very well," said Principal Don Olson. "We've received a dual kindergarten and first-grade teacher, and a teacher for a fourth- and fifth-grade combo class."
Olson said the school is still a little tight in the upper grades.
"From the fourth- through eighth-grades, it's a little cramped. But we're averaging 33 students per classroom. It was 36 to 37 students before the two new teachers," said Olson.
More of a crunch is being felt at Del Norte High, where several classrooms are being renovated.
"The teachers are very patient about it, because they know it's going to be nice once it's completed," Moorehouse said. "The students may not be aware of that right now. It may be a little crowded in the hallways, but it is temporary."
Moorehouse said she predicts the renovated classrooms will be reopened by late next week.