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Crystal Lake school districts trim workforce

D-155 lays off 8; D-47 modifies roles to cut costs

Published: Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:15 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Both Crystal Lake school districts have made staffing changes, with District 155 honorably dismissing eight first-year teachers and District 47 restructuring its administrative ranks under first-year Superintendent Kathy Hinz.

Randy Davis, assistant superintendent of human resources at District 155, said the cuts are an annual process to adjust to expected enrollment trends, which show the recent declining number of students in the district would likely continue.

Davis said the district has averaged between three and five first-year teachers being let go at the end of the past few school years. The larger number of teachers dismissed this year also include the elimination of two part-time positions and the reduction of a full-time position to a part-time position.

“We want to stress that this is an honorable dismissal and they are all good teachers in good standing,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have a position for them. But we consider them as a candidate for coming back if there is an opportunity.”

District 47 managed cost savings in a different way, streamlining administrative positions in an effort to focus more resources within the school buildings.

Hinz, who was promoted from interim to official superintendent in December, said she wanted to find efficiencies in the administrative ranks. To do so, two administrative positions were eliminated and a new division of student learning was created to bring all academic programs under one umbrella.

Under the new division, a director of special education and director of literacy were approved by the board. Kelli Catini is an internal hire who was promoted to director of special education while Megan Fuciarelli comes from Indian Springs District 109 to fill the director of literacy role.

“We’re very excited to restructure to put more focus in the classrooms,” Hinz said. “This was designed to make sure the administration building runs efficiently and on a lean staff and to get more supports in the buildings.”

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