ANWSD job changes not yet decided

VERGENNES — It won’t be known until May how Addison Northwest School District administrators will handle the ANWSD board’s March 28 directive to reduce personnel costs, according to ANWSD Superintendent Sheila Soule.
At its March 28 meeting the board voted to authorize administrators to “reduce the (work) force as necessary” to stay within the limits of the $22,139,341 budget voters backed on March 5.
School officials said at the meeting it could require a reduction of the equivalent of two full-time jobs to meet a projected shortfall in the line items for salaries and benefits.
Board members said it was clear from ongoing contract negotiations with both teaching and support staff that the money set aside in the budget would not be adequate to cover expected increases in salaries and benefits, and therefore staff reductions were necessary.
Although affected teachers had to be notified by April 1 they might not be retained, in emails to the Independent Soule said administrators could not yet pin down where reductions would be made. She described the process as “complex,” and wrote that administrators “are still in the process of determining staff assignments for next year.”
In particular, Soule said, there are unknowns among the three ANWSD elementary schools and among some personnel.
“We have a lot of shifting at the elementary level and some staff may decide on their own not to return,” Soule said. “We won’t know until the first week of May who is planning to return and where all staff will land.”
If voluntary departures do not meet the board’s savings goals, board members said at their March 28 meeting the savings target could be met through a combination of eliminating full-time jobs or reducing hours of full-time teachers or staff members to part-time.
The motion the board adopted at least left room for reductions deeper than the two full-time equivalencies discussed at the meeting.

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