Increase in caseloads require more help.

The Crookston School Board this week approved the creation of a new, full-time paraprofessional position at the high school that will work with students in special education in seventh and eighth grade.

The position will be funded by special education dollars, Special Services Director Kim Johnson said.

Currently, Kris Derosier teaches special education to seventh and eighth graders, along with two paraprofessionals, Johnson said. At the start of the school year, there were 10 seventh and eighth graders in the special ed program. Since the start of the school year, that number is up to 13, Johnson said.

"That has led to increased caseloads and we have increased needs for special education students in general education courses," she explained. "We need to provide support to cover everyone."

Last year, due to reduced need, a half-time equivalent paraprofessional was cut at the junior and senior class level, Johnson said, and the year before that, a quarter-time equivalent paraprofessional position was reduced at the fifth and sixth grade level.

The new CHS paraprofessional will work with students with severe learning disabilities and emotional behavioral disorders, Johnson said.