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District 200 may trim some jobs

Citing enrollment, school board sets vote on laying off 17 teachers

Published: Saturday, March 8, 2014 10:44 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, March 8, 2014 11:00 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – District 200 will consider whether to reduce their force of teachers by 17, reductions Superintendent Ellyn Wrzeski said are largely tied to enrollment.

School board members will vote on the measure at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The cuts would be spread out among the pre-K, elementary, middle school and high school levels.

Teacher reductions must be made 45 days before the school year ends.

“We hate to see any of them go,” Wrzeski said. “It’s not budgetary. It’s all based on enrollment.”

Wrzeski said that based on registration numbers, some positions could be added back.

“We’re just watching some numbers,” she said.

District 200 has so far seen a significant decrease in the number of kindergarten registrations for next school year.

The number generally fluctuates between 430 and 480 students, reaching as high as 493 in recent years, Wrzeski said.

“Last year when it was this lower number, it’s hard to say – is it a trend?” she said.

Wrzeski said the district is about 80 students below its average kindergarten enrollment for next school year, which prompted the reduction in staff by five elementary teachers.

“Personally, I think we will be able to add back one of those, for sure,” she said. “But right now, we need to be prudent and be safe.”

The district made reductions of five preschool teachers, including one in the district’s tuition-based program.

District 200 has also included middle school teachers in its reductions. Creekside Middle School will lose about 60 students next year, while Northwood Middle School will gain about 30 or 35 students, Wrzeski said.

The district has included three full-time high school teachers, one full-time middle school teacher and two part-time middle school teachers in the reductions.

Because staff reductions are based on seniority, middle school enrollment changes can force high school teachers out of their jobs. Teachers are categorized by the subjects and levels they teach.

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