In her weekly email to District 9 staff, Superintendent Cynda Rickert highlighted two items that will be discussed at the Wednesday, Mar. 14 board of directors meeting.
“One will seek authority to reduce staff for the coming year. The other will seek authority to close Elk Trail School and move its students to Shady Cove School,” said Rickert.”Our spending levels are estimated at $1.5 million over our revenues, including a new $554,000 shortfall linked to declining enrollment.”
Rickert said the proposal to be considered by the board of directors would reduce about 11 staff positions for the coming school year. Most can be achieved through attrition. However, there will necessarily be some layoffs, said Rickert. Notices will go out to those employees before spring break, giving them as much time as possible to secure a position elsewhere.
“However,” said Rickert, “the layoffs do not have to happen.”Rickert said the district has made a no-layoff proposal in bargaining over a new employee contract. Under that proposal, the district would guarantee that no employee at a school site would lose a job through layoff during the 2012-13 school year. “In exchange”said Rickert, “the two sides in the bargaining process would accept a package of contract articles offered by the district covering salaries and benefits. This agreement would override layoff authorization.”
Elk-Trail closure is the other item on Wednesday’s board agenda. Currently there are fewer than 100 students K-3 at Elk Trail and enrollment in the area is on the decline. In her report, Rickert said only about 30 students actually come from the Elk Trail area,. The cost per student is the highest in the district.
An unused wing at Shady Cove could handle the Elk Trail students and all Elk Trail teachers would transfer to Shady Cove.
The board meets in regular session at 6:30 p.m. Mar. 14 in the board room at the administrative building. The workshop is at 5 p.m. in the staff room.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent