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August 31, 2013

West Clark Community Schools: Growing up and out

Superintendent Monty Schneider talks about challenges and benefits in the coming school year

SELLERSBURG — Continued growth may present its challenges for a school district, but West Clark Community Schools is figuring out what to do with the extra students and how to accommodate them.

Monty Schneider, superintendent for the district, said this year could bring in some change and mild expansion for the district, but while it’s not embracing some of the technology initiatives of its neighbors, its still offering some advantages its immediate competitors don’t.

How’s the 2013-2014 school year going so far?

We feel it’s a good start. I hope to say that most years when we get started, it seems like it’s always hectic because our growth has a lot to do with it and getting our final schedules out and things like that. We’re careful about adding new employees because we’re essentially in the same financial situation we were in during 2007.

We get additional money for more students, but the amount of money we’re getting is similar to what we had in 2007. We haven’t had any raises in a number of years and that’s how we’re still able to manage. We started the year with two new principals and also with a new employee at the West Clark Education Center, which is our alternative program. We’ve made some administrative changes.

West Clark continues to grow pretty steadily. What’s that doing to your district?

We have about 25 new teachers. Some of those for replacement for retiring teachers and things like that. We added two additional teachers on the Silver Creek Campus just to take care of the increased number of students. Right now, we look like we’re in the 60 to 75 range on additional students at West Clark.

In this day and age, most people lose students and we’ve continually grown. That may be a little bit less than we’ve had in the past years. I think some of the other schools are making greater effort to retain students and to get students. We have not done that simply because of room.

I’m sure we could attract more students, but space is getting to be a premium, especially on the Silver Creek campus.

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