Increased enrollment stabilizes Arapahoe's budgetThursday, April 16, 2009 By Allyx Nielsen
Despite the budget squeeze on the district level, Arapahoe’s current situation is sturdy and comfortable, administrators say. Faced with tough decisions of teacher cut backs and instructional budget cuts, the administration has been both busy and quiet about current affairs. Both Heritage High School and Littleton High School have had to deal with the consequences of a declining enrollment, including numerous faculty cuts. This however, is not the case for Arapahoe. “A school’s budget all depends on enrollment; that is the key,” Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Natalie Pramenko said. And Arapahoe’s enrollment is higher than ever. For the 2008-2009 school year, 2,080 students were present at AHS and the projections are that the upcoming 2009-2010 school year will see a total of 2,150 students. Basically, AHS is maxed out. “Staffing cuts have been minimal; however, there will be three teachers retiring and one full-time teaching position will be cut,” Pramenko said. Pramenko also said that she was unable to give names or further details. “It’s very hard to lose staff members,” Principal Ron Booth said. However, although a staff member is leaving, the increasing enrollment sparks positive reactions. “We are a strong, high-achieving, college preparatory high school and the kids love it and that’s why enrollment must be high,” Pramenko said. “Kids market the school the best, and the variable schedule, open campus and school spirit are very appealing. Mr. Booth’s expectations are high for every aspect of the building,” Pramenko said AHS staff members who are new to the district undergo a three-year probation period, which are critical years for them. This is essentially is a trial period for them and an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. “You can see different faces around the building next year and that may not just be because of the budget or retirees,” Pramenko said. Pramenko also said there may be personal or professional aspects for a teacher’s departure that don’t necessarily relate directly to the budget.