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Bemidji School District: Board votes to discontinue, reduce staffing positions

The Bemidji School Board voted 5-1 to approve a list of staff adjustments for the 2010-11 school year at its meeting Monday night.

According to Jordan Hickman, the district's director of human resources, the recommended reductions are the result of licensure issues, shifting enrollments, staff members returning from leave of absence, federal funding reductions and grants that are ending or being reduced.

Staffing at Bemidji High School is directly related to student enrollment numbers. The number of staff can also be affected by shifts in available classes offered based on student preferences, Hickman said.

School board member Bill Faver voted in opposition to the list of positions being discontinued and the addition of one position. He was not available for comment.


The board approved the following reductions:

E.08 full time equivalency art teacher at Bemidji High School/Lumberjack High School.

E1.10 full time equivalency elementary education teacher.

- One half-time early childhood teacher.

- One full time special education instructor at First City School due to the decline in student enrollment.

- One half-time social worker with the safe & drug-free schools grant program that is ending.

- One half-time social worker with the homeless program, currently funded through a grant which may or may not be renewed.

- One half-time math specialist. This would reduce the current full time math specialist to a half-time specialist.

E.25 full time equivalency Bemidji Education Association president release time.


The board voted not to renew 11 probationary teachers. According to Hickman:

- Two non-renewed positions are to create opportunity for seniority bumping or as placeholders based on the results of the reductions.

- Three positions are due to special permissions expiring at the end of this school year.

- Two are related to grant-funding reductions.

- Five are related to registration and enrollment shifts.

- One certified tenure teacher will be placed on an unrequested leave of absence as a result of those reductions.

- Four probationary teachers will be re-hired at a lower full time equivalency.


- The board approved hiring one full time grade 8 core subject teacher at the Bemidji Middle School. This would allow the district to expand and re-establish three pods in the eighth grade for the 2010-11 school year.