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Revised school district budget brings more teachers, classes to Wilson

The Portland Public Schools school board recently approved a revised budget proposed by Superintendent Carole Smith.

Wilson High School is now losing only 0.63 of a full-time equivalent (FTE) position compared to last year, far less than originally projected.

"We've added ... a little over five FTE back to the building," said Principal Brian Chatard, "which will enable us to add a considerable (amount) more sections in a number of different departments, including adding a couple of elective courses."

These courses, Chatard said, will expand Wilson's offerings in computer science, theater and the technical aspects of instrumental music, such as sound and recording, practical production and recording live music.

"Adding to our graphic design, arts-focused technology piece — Photoshop, digital media, web design," he said, "we also have made our woods and metals industrial arts teacher full time. A big number of students are interested in woodshop, metal shop and drafting."

Superintendent Smith made another big announcement last month: PPS is lifting the current limitation on the number of classes that high school students can take, and making eight credit-bearing classes available to all high school students for next school year.

"When we open up the possibility for kids to take an eighth class," Chatard said, "I think some more kids will jump on that. I don’t think every kid is going to end up taking eight classes — it’s a lot of classes — but at least those who can or want to will be able to."