School board approves preliminary layoff notices
By Kevin Boneske
AHSWAUBENON – In anticipation of what the 2018-19 district budget could look like, the Ashwaubenon school board approved issuing three preliminary layoff notices Wednesday, April 11.
The preliminary notices, which would require final approval by the board in May, call for layoffs of:
• Cassandra Terrien from her full-time teaching position at Pioneer Elementary School.
• Nicole VanLaanen receiving a voluntary reduction of .16 full-time equivalency (FTE).
• Patricia Christensen receiving a .08 FTE reduction in music at Cormier and Valley View schools.
Superintendent Brian Hanes said staffing levels for the next school year are being determined by enrollment.
“What we have, to maintain our current class sizes, we are planning to reduce two (classroom) teachers are Valley View, one at Pioneer and one at Cormier,” Hanes said. “Then we had some partial reductions after several pretty lengthy staffing meetings with all the administrators here.”
Though the district will also be looking at having some reductions in specialized class teachers, such as music, Hanes said most of those reductions are able to be covered with transfers.
Hanes also noted the administrative team looked at retirements and resignations to avoid layoffs.
“We have a retirement at Cormier, for example, so no layoff is needed for that reduction,” he said “We’re able to transfer two Valley View teachers to Parkview – two positions that are open due to a retirement and (the) elimination of some of the current staff overload contracts.”
Hanes said any staff members receiving a layoff notice could be recalled if a position becomes available due to a staff resignation or enrollment being higher than projected.
Though Hanes noted issuing layoff notices isn’t something he likes to do, he said the purpose is to make the whole budget picture work.
“The biggest part of our budget and any school budget, obviously, is paying people and staffing and salaries,” he said. “Therefore, it always comes into play. Every year we have hours of meetings and I have to compliment (Assistant Superintendent) Keith (Lucius) leading that discussion. I have to compliment our administrative team to look at this as a unit. It’s hard, because we’re sharing people from building to building and doing everything we can creatively to not lay off people.”
Board President Jay VanLaanen said the planned staffing reduction is “probably the smallest FTE (reduction) I’ve seen in a long, long time.”