By Terry Dean
Preliminary enrollment projections for the upcoming school year at Oak Park District 97 indicate a need to hire additional teachers and staff.
According to data from the district, some buildings' staffing numbers will remain the same while others, including Irving, Holmes and Longfellow, are projected to need two additional teachers. The increase in staff is due to projected larger classroom numbers in the upper grades. Brooks and Julian middle schools are also projected to require additional staff as the larger primary classes start moving up. Each school, for instance, will need a foreign language teacher next year. The projected enrollment at Brooks next year is 869 students and at Julian 940, slight increases from the current school year. Enrollment increases are expected at the elementary schools as well.
D97 officials, however, stress that enrollment projections are preliminary, based on the number of families who have registered for the fall thus far. More families are expected to register this summer and into early fall, the officials note.
In all, the district is expecting an increase to 12 FTE (full-time equivalent) certified staff, which includes special and regular education teachers.