On September 26, principals receive their final 2016-17 staffing allocations. Each fall, in every district across our state, staffing adjustments are made to match the right number of teachers to the enrollment needs of schools.
Student counts, the number of students enrolled in a school, are linked to funding. If more students than planned for enroll in a school or district, more staff can be hired to meet student needs. If fewer students enroll in a district, the district receives less money and must make up the extra cost by cutting a service or program. If fewer students enroll in a specific school, staffing adjustments must be made to support increased enrollment somewhere else in the system.
Enrollment in schools across the district fluctuates during the weeks leading up to the start of school and approximately two weeks after school begins. As new students enroll and other students who are not returning notify the district, we review enrollment and staffing needs. It takes a couple weeks of students being added and subtracted to determine actual class sizes for each school.
Complicating this year’s staffing process is a new requirement from the State of Washington. It requires specific student to teacher ratios in grades K-3. This ratio is not per class but the total number of K-3 students to the total number of K-3 teachers. This requirement must also be factored into the staffing allocation and may result in an increase in split classes (multi-grade classrooms).
By the seventh day of school, enrollment typically begins to stabilize. Using the Day 7 headcount, a cross-departmental team (e.g. HR, budget, teaching and learning, enrollment) runs the staffing formula and solicits input about classroom configurations and the master schedule from principals to determine if staffing changes are needed.
Staffing Adjustment 2016-17 School Year Timeline
- Sept. 19 Principals submit classroom configurations to School Operations
- Sept. 19 - 22 Budget runs staffing formula using Day 7 student headcount
- Sept. 23 District leaders review the data to determine possible staffing changes
- Sept. 26 Communication to principals about staffing changes
The team works closely with school leaders and executive directors of schools to ensure that schools have the teachers and the space required to meet the K-3 ratios and provide a suitable learning environment to each and every student across the district.
What does this mean for your family and child?
- For some schools, they may receive an increase in staff to accommodate additional students.
- For other schools, staff may be moved to another building because their final enrollment was lower than predicted.
- Your principal may need to adjust the master schedule and class lists to accommodate the final student enrollment.
- Finally, it may mean that new split classes need to be formed to accommodate the K-3 required staffing ratios.
The staff adjustment process is often stressful and confusing for families. We thank you for your patience and understanding in this process. If you have additional questions, please email email@example.com.
If you want to learn more about enrollment projections and staffing, please visit our Staffing Adjustments FAQ webpage.