JULIE LANE PHOTO | Jennifer Olsen of Southold is Shelter Island’s new school social worker. It was a position that had to be eliminated last year to keep the district’s budget in line, but money has been found to create the part-time position that starts on November 1.
Jennifer Olsen of Southold was appointed to the part-time position of school social worker Monday night by the Shelter Island Board of Education. The position, held by Emily Hill, had to be scrapped for the 2013-14 school year because of budget constraints.
But Superintendent Michael Hynes promised board members he would actively pursue grant money or look for other places in the approved budget where spending was less than expected so the position could be reinstated.
Ms. Hill worked two days a week in what amounted to a .4 percent job, while Ms. Olsen will be working part-time, but will be in the school for some hours every day of the week, Dr. Hynes said. The position is budgeted at .6 percent or the equivalent of three days a week, but hours will be shortened each day to spread the job over the full five days, the superintendent said.
Had the position been full time, it would have been budgeted at $71,212. But it is pro-rated both by its part-time status and the fact that it is effective in November, so Ms. Olsen will earn $42,727.20 for the school year. Money came from a close examination of budgeted items where it was determined there could be savings that combined to cover the cost of Ms. Olsen’s salary.
Competition for the job was stiff, Dr. Hynes said.
Board member got an overview Monday night of the Response to Intervention process from academic administrator Jennifer Rylott, who explained how every student’s progress will be tracked at least three times a year — in September, January and May — and for some more frequent screening will be done to assure they are getting whatever extra help they need to meet educational goals. RTI is not a process designed solely for special education students, Ms. Rylott said. It will serve all students, she said.