Leveling, the school system’s annual process for adjusting staffing levels and reassigning teachers and paraprofessionals after student enrollment stabilizes, is coming to a close for the 2013-14 school year.
Leveling is APS’ annual process for adjusting staffing levels and reassigning teachers and paraprofessionals after student enrollment stabilizes. Every summer, APS assigns staff to schools based on projections of student enrollment. Leveling is necessary because by the time the new school year begins, projected enrollment may differ from actual enrollment for several reasons. One reason for the difference is that a large number of students register and actually begin school after the first day of school. Approximately 6,500 students began school after August 7 (Day One) and by September 3 (Day 19), which is the designated cutoff day for leveling this school year.
To help encourage more parents to register their children before the first day of school, APS held its first-ever centralized summer registration this past summer. As a result, roughly 5,000 more students enrolled on the first day of school for 2014 compared to 2013.
In spite of the improved registration process and the fact that student enrollment grew this year, the number of students who reported to school by September 3 was slightly lower than original projections. As of September 3, enrollment was 455 fewer students than budget projections. Fortunately, the reduction in student enrollment has not resulted in a net reduction in teachers. Instead, the reduction has triggered some adjustments in staffing levels and reassignments of teachers. Through the leveling process, principals, regional K-12 executive directors, and leaders from the curriculum and instruction and human resources divisions worked together to minimize reassignments and disruption.
As of today, the leveling process in APS is nearing completion. Reassigned teachers and paraprofessionals began working in their new classrooms in traditional schools on September 16 and year-round schools on September 30.