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Bemidji School District: Staffing changes made

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

After waiting one week before deciding whether to approve a list of staffing changes for next year, members of Bemidji School District's Board of Education appeared more ready to make such a decision during a special school board meeting held Monday.

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While many of the positions recommended to be cut remained unchanged, this time the board was presented with two options - lose a half-time music position and .25 computer keyboard and technology position or cut two full-time computer keyboard and technology instructors from the elementary schools.

The board chose the former option.

Staffing changes

The school board voted 4-0 (members Gene Dillon and Carol Johnson were not present) to approve cutting the following full-time equivalent positions for 2012-13:

E Bemidji High School and Lumberjack High School: .17 English, .33 family and consumer sciences, .17 mathematics, .25 physical education and .17 Spanish.

E Elementary schools: .50 physical education, .50 art, .25 computer keyboard and technology, 1.5 library media specialists and .50 music.

E School district: .90 special education.

The total estimated savings of these cuts, including salary and benefits, is expected to be $435,734.

As part of the approved resolution, the following full-time equivalent positions will be added in 2012-13:

E Bemidji Middle School: .50 music.

E Bemidji High School and Lumberjack High School: .25 medical careers and .33 science.

E School district: 1 school psychologist (to replace the .90 special education position to be discontinued).

The total estimated cost of the new hires would be $113,616.

By making these cuts and approving the additions, the board is expected to save $228,595.

The board also voted 4-0 not to renew the contracts of probationary teachers and to place teachers with continuing contracts on unrequested leave of absence for 2012-13, which would impact the following teachers:

Kurt Anderson, Jill DeRouin, Josiah Hoagland, Kathryn McCannell, Brittany Moore, Nancy Neis, Jacqueline Robertson, Stephanie Rupp, Sara Wabrowetz, Sonia Wadena and Deborah Wake.

Of these individuals, five would likely be rehired in the future, but at a lesser portion of their employment, Jordan Hickman, the district's director of human resources, said during last week's school board meeting.

Elementary schedules

Changes in staffing at Bemidji High School and Lumberjack High School are directly related to student registration, according to Hickman.

In the elementary schools, however, the eliminated positions are the result of changes expected to be made to the school schedule next year, according to Superintendent James Hess.

Students will spend fewer minutes per week in music, art, physical education and technology and more time learning reading, math, science and social studies.

According to Hess, a committee of district administrators and staff looked at ways to improve the elementary school schedule by visiting comparable elementary schools around the state.

"We found, actually, we spend more time in recess than we do in science classes," Hess said during last week's school board meeting.

Currently, students in elementary schools spend 6.25 hours per week learning art, music, physical education, technology and library/media, known as allied arts. Next year this number will be reduced to 5.5 hours, allowing students to receive an additional 45 minutes per week learning science, math, reading and social studies.

Library/media time will increase from 25 minutes per week to 30 minutes per week, but there will be fewer media specialists to assist students, as the board approved eliminating 1.5 full-time equivalent elementary school library media specialists.

Also, choir and orchestra, which are currently offered to elementary students before or after school, will be offered during students' noon recess time next year. This means students interested in participating in one or both will have to opt out of a noon recess in order to participate.

After waiting one week before deciding whether to approve a list of staffing changes for next year, members of Bemidji School District's Board of Education appeared more ready to make such a decision during a special school board meeting held Monday.

While many of the positions recommended to be cut remained unchanged, this time the board was presented with two options - lose a half-time music position and .25 computer keyboard and technology position or cut two full-time computer keyboard and technology instructors from the elementary schools.

The board chose the former option.

Staffing changes

The school board voted 4-0 (members Gene Dillon and Carol Johnson were not present) to approve cutting the following full-time equivalent positions for 2012-13:

- Bemidji High School and Lumberjack High School: .17 English, .33 family and consumer sciences, .17 mathematics, .25 physical education and .17 Spanish.

- Elementary schools: .50 physical education, .50 art, .25 computer keyboard and technology, 1.5 library media specialists and .50 music.

- School district: .90 special education.

The total estimated savings of these cuts, including salary and benefits, is expected to be $435,734.

As part of the approved resolution, the following full-time equivalent positions will be added in 2012-13:

- Bemidji Middle School: .50 music.

- Bemidji High School and Lumberjack High School: .25 medical careers and .33 science.

- School district: 1 school psychologist (to replace the .90 special education position to be discontinued).

The total estimated cost of the new hires would be $113,616.

By making these cuts and approving the additions, the board is expected to save $228,595.

The board also voted 4-0 not to renew the contracts of probationary teachers and to place teachers with continuing contracts on unrequested leave of absence for 2012-13, which would impact the following teachers:

Kurt Anderson, Jill DeRouin, Josiah Hoagland, Kathryn McCannell, Brittany Moore, Nancy Neis, Jacqueline Robertson, Stephanie Rupp, Sara Wabrowetz, Sonia Wadena and Deborah Wake.

Of these individuals, five would likely be rehired in the future, but at a lesser portion of their employment, Jordan Hickman, the district's director of human resources, said during last week's school board meeting.

Elementary schedules

Changes in staffing at Bemidji High School and Lumberjack High School are directly related to student registration, according to Hickman.

In the elementary schools, however, the eliminated positions are the result of changes expected to be made to the school schedule next year, according to Superintendent James Hess.

Students will spend fewer minutes per week in music, art, physical education and technology and more time learning reading, math, science and social studies.

According to Hess, a committee of district administrators and staff looked at ways to improve the elementary school schedule by visiting comparable elementary schools around the state.

"We found, actually, we spend more time in recess than we do in science classes," Hess said during last week's school board meeting.

Currently, students in elementary schools spend 6.25 hours per week learning art, music, physical education, technology and library/media, known as allied arts. Next year this number will be reduced to 5.5 hours, allowing students to receive an additional 45 minutes per week learning science, math, reading and social studies.

Library/media time will increase from 25 minutes per week to 30 minutes per week, but there will be fewer media specialists to assist students, as the board approved eliminating 1.5 full-time equivalent elementary school library media specialists.

Also, choir and orchestra, which are currently offered to elementary students before or after school, will be offered during students' noon recess time next year. This means students interested in participating in one or both will have to opt out of a noon recess in order to participate.

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