Entering a more normal school year

Support positions have been added

Posted 8/16/22

Going into the 2022-2023 school year Park County School District 1 has created new positions to help support students’ education as schools continue returning to pre-COVID normalcy.

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Entering a more normal school year

Support positions have been added

Posted

Going into the 2022-2023 school year Park County School District 1 has created new positions to help support students’ education as schools continue returning to pre-COVID normalcy.

Earlier this year the school board voted to add additional special education teaching positions and para-educators. Three para-educator positions have been added at Powell Middle School and one para-educator has been added to the high school. This high school position will serve as an “at-risk liaison.”

“The at-risk position will be a sort of liaison to help connect dots between home and school,” Superintendent Jay Curtis said.

There have been five special education teachers added. Three special education teachers have been added to the high school, one will be located at Southside Elementary School and one will be designated to all elementary schools. A K-12 behavior specialist has also been added.

The new positions have been temporarily added using grant money to help support students’ education after COVID-19 disrupted education over the last two years.

The goal of the positions is to “reduce barriers for students” and meet student needs. While the positions are temporary, the district is open to continuing the positions as long as the student need still exists.

Special emphasis has been placed on adding special education positions to help reduce workload on teachers and help students succeed. 

Along with providing education for special education students, the teachers also have to develop individualized learning plans (IEPs) which are complex and time consuming.

“It may shock people to know the amount of work that goes into an IEP,” Curtis said. 

According to Curtis the last two school years were difficult on students and staff, “probably two of the most difficult years in teachers’ careers.”

This year Curtis is glad that things are “as close to normal as it has been in the last two years.”

“It’s exciting to think that we get to make lots and lots of decisions based on what’s best for the student and not responding to the effects of the pandemic.”

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