Eastwood plans for staff cuts
Written by By MARIE THOMAS Sentinel Education Editor
Thursday, 20 May 2010 09:10
PEMBERVILLE - The Eastwood Board of Education has cut one teaching position and reduced several others to part time in response to declining enrollment in the district.
The reductions in force approved at Monday's board meeting include the elimination of a full-time family and consumer science teaching position, and reduction to part time of three teachers in the ag science, technology education and music departments.
These are all elective classes, and are not required for a student to graduate.
Two cooks also had their work week cut by one hour.
Superintendent Brent Welker said Monday afternoon, prior to the meeting, that the cuts were based on enrollment in each particular class as well as enrollment in the district.
"We hate doing these things," he said later at the meeting, but called such reductions a sign of the times.
Eastwood this year has 1,691 students, but is estimating a drop to around 1,650 for the 2010-11 school year, he said. All the classes going into seventh grade or above are in the 130s to 150s, but next year's sixth-grade class is less than 100. Within the elementaries, the largest class is 121 in fourth grade, he added.
"Those are the issues that are going to plague us as far as when it comes to staffing," Welker stated.
He has been stating for several months his intent to cut $500,000 from the district's 2010-11 operating budget. Adjustments in personnel, which also include eliminating staff hired through the Wood County Educational Service Center, adjustments to extended time contracts, and salary modifications, contribute about $250,000 toward that goal.
"There are a number of little items that all add up" within personnel, the superintendent added.
Teachers whose hours were cut to part time will continue to receive pro-rated benefits as outlined in the union's negotiated agreement as well as past practice, according to Welker.
Also at the meeting, Treasurer Dave Michel announced an updated five-year forecast should be posted on the district's Web site by the end of the week. The forecast includes the elimination of federal stimulus dollars in 2012, resulting in a 10-percent drop in revenue.
¬•¬†¬† ¬†Seventy students were inducted into the inaugural Key Club on Monday. The club, technically, doesn't start until next year, but members already are getting involved in community service and volunteer work, reported high school Principal Jeff Hill.
¬•¬†¬† ¬†A student Arts and Technology Festival will be held May 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the middle school. The public is invited to attend.
¬•¬†¬† ¬†The district will implement an "adopt-a-field" program and ask area garden clubs and volunteers to mow school property in an effort to cut expenses.
¬•¬†¬† ¬†Over the summer, 240 Netbooks will be installed in the district. The goal is to have a cart of portable computers on every floor in the elementaries, plus two at the middle school and two at the high school. The computers were purchased through a program offered by Verizon, and cost about $160 each.
¬•¬†¬† ¬†The board approved participation fees for 2010-11 for high school athletics, including $75 for the first sport, $50 for the second, and $25 for the third; $37.50 for cheerleading per season; $25 for band and FFA; and $20 for intramural sports. At the middle school, it's $40 for the first sport, $20 for the second, $20 for cheerleading per season, and $10 for intramurals.