Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
Havre streets were buzzing this morning with traffic congregating toward the town’s schools, parents hugging kids goodbye at bus stops and lively chatter floating in the air as students and teachers greeted each other for the first day back to school. Havre Public Schools superintendent Dennis Parman said Tuesday that though enrollment numbers don’t mean warm bodies filling the classroom, the count projects almost 200 more students compared to May's enrollment will be attending classes in the school district this fall. “(Actual numbers) typically decrease after Labor Day,” Parman said. “It would be great if they don’t, though.” Increased school attendance is always a plus where funding is concerned, but the possibility of so many added students could put a strain on the local teaching and paraprofessional staff. HPS is short nine paraprofessionals and two teachers this year because of budget constraints and scheduling variances. The elementary schools and high school operations required budget crunching this year, Parman said. And the transportation and energy portion of the budget is of concern this school year. “We based our transportation budget on $5 per gallon for diesel,” he said. “There are limits to how much our budgets will stretch based on energy costs. We have planned it out as far as we can.” In an effort to control higher energy costs, Parman said the maintenance staff installed 50 new windows at Highland Park’s north campus this summer, and Havre High School, in the past few years, has received a number of similar improvements. “There is a new roof, new siding and insulation our consumption is down by 20 percent, but our cost has gone up 30 percent,” he said. “We’re just keeping costs as low as we can.” Improvements this summer also took place at Sunnyside Intermediate and Havre Middle School. “Sunnyside has had a great deal of concrete and landscape work done to improve safety and the outside appearance of that site, and we have installed a security camera system at Havre Middle School,” Parman said. Though no new staff positions have been created due to budget constraints, Parman said some new staff members have been hired to replace outgoing members. “We are very excited to have all of these new staff joining us not only as part of the Havre Public Schools staff, but as members of the Havre community,” Parman said. “By all reports, things are ready for another great school year.” New staff members include: Havre High School Mrs. Gauger, assistant principal, temporary; and Mrs. Roll, part-time librarian. Havre Middle School Mr. Picard, assistant principal; Mr. Kraske, principal, temporary; Mrs. Vogel, special education; and Mrs. Coy, Academic Learning Center. Sunnyside Intermediate Mr. Ross, and Mre. Shade fifth grade; and Mrs. Alisch, music. Lincoln McKinley Primary Mrs. Geda, principal; Miss McPherson, second grade; Mrs. (Schwan) Samson, seco n d g ra d e ; a n d Mrs. Champagne, third grade. Highland Park Mrs. Wheeler, principal.