Students have already settled into their classrooms, but Gainesville City Schools will see a slight adjustment as it hires five new teachers this school year.
The district received word last Monday that Title I funds had increased, Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said. Title I funding is distributed to schools based on poverty indicators, such as a higher number of students who require free and reduced-price lunch.
New Holland Elementary, Gainesville Exploration Academy and Gainesville Middle School are each slated to receive one full-time teacher. Fair Street Elementary will have two full-time teachers, with one teacher directed at early intervention or for the English for Speakers of Other Languages program, Dyer said.
The teachers, whose applications are currently being processed, will be hired to grade levels that have larger class sizes.
“Research has shown that for students dealing with poverty, there is no question that lower class sizes help,” Dyer said.
Hall County also recently received approval to hire 15 to 25 part-time teachers this year, with about $1.5 million in federal funds.
The money was part of a record annual allotment of Title I funds and additional funds from No Child Left Behind, as schools in Hall County are no longer labeled as “needs improvement.”
With federal funds from the jobs bill, Dyer announced the system also would restore what was a furlough day March 11. The recommendation was approved by the school board Monday; March 11 will be a regular school day.
“Our employees have been the ones who’ve seen us through our financial recovery, so any days we can give back are well deserved,” Dyer said. “It benefits students, too. It’s another school day before testing in the spring.”