The Las Virgenes Unified School District will hire five new teachers to accommodate a larger-than-expected student body.
Officials say they hope to hire the new teachers by next week. They will work at A.E. Wright Middle School and Willow Elementary School in Calabasas, and Lupin Hill Elementary School in Agoura Hills, said Supt. Albert (Bud) Marley.
Enrollment districtwide is about 150 students above the expected number, bringing Las Virgenes rolls to more than 10,500, said Bob Fraisse, personnel director for the district. Many classes at A.E. Wright have more than 40 students, he said, and some at Willow and Lupin Hill have 35 or more.
Marley said district officials chose for the second straight year not to cushion staff levels because of the fiscal pinch imposed by state funding cuts.
“We always try to be conservative in our enrollment estimates, and we used to make up for that by hiring a few extra teachers from the beginning,” Marley said. “But we just can’t afford to do that anymore.”
Kindergarten enrollment at the two elementary schools was up by several dozen students, a figure Marley also attributed to the economy.
“My theory is that a lot of parents who, in different times, would have put their children in private, all-day kindergarten have enrolled their kids in public school this year,” Marley said. “The whole situation seems to reflect on the economic situation.”