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Buhler BOE to Interview Finalists for Open Seat, Discusses UV Class Sizes

By Lucky Kidd, Ad Astra Radio


BUHLER – The Buhler USD 313 Board of Education Monday night decided to interview two of the six applicants to fill the board vacancy created when Robin Swanson resigned a few months into the term she was elected to in November.

One of those to be interviewed is former USD 313 Board member Monte Cross, who Swanson defeated in the general election. The other finalist to be interviewed is Michael Green. The interviews will take place at a special meeting Wednesday evening at 6:30 at the Burkholder Administration Center.


UV Class Sizes

A group of parents from Union Valley Elementary School asked the board to take immediate steps to resolve large class sizes for the incoming 3rd grade class. Lori Hartnett, speaking for the parents, noted the average class size at Union Valley, at 26 students per teacher, is much higher than at Buhler Grade or Plum Creek Elementary School.

Hartnett noted this class is for all intents and purposes completed their first full in-person school year in 2021-22 after having their kindergarten year end early due to COVID-19 shutdowns and interrupted in first grade due to having to be on remote learning at times.

The parents’ primary desire is the hiring of a fourth teacher for 3rd grade. They would also like to see more rapid interventions for students behind where they should be. It was stated interventions usually don’t start until after the first nine weeks of the school year and that would put struggling students further behind.

Board members and Superintendent Cindy Couchman said they are also seeking solutions, but what those might look like is yet to be determined. Couchman noted there was some improvement in student progress as the school year ended. No decisions were made during the meeting, but efforts will be made to keep parents updated on steps being taken.