GH teachers get call back to classroom

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Scott Grimes, the district’s assistant superintendent of human services, said a number of factors made the “great news” possible. He said there have been additional retirements, staff resignations and merging job positions to create more room in the budget since the layoff notices were issued in June.

In total, 14 staff members retired and three staff members resigned from their positions in the district.

“I’m thrilled to be recalling our laid-off teachers and returning them to our classrooms,” Superintendent Keith Konarska

The one-year delay of the federal Affordable Care Act also created room in the Grand Haven district's budget because the district won’t be required to provide health insurance for all employees who work more than 30 hours.

The school board also voted in June to cut four support staff positions: a high school testing coordinator, two part-time middle school receptionists and a part-time elementary school attendance clerk.

Teachers who were impacted by the layoffs are: four from the high school, two from the middle schools and four from the elementary schools. In total, the district will have 10 less teachers throughout the district because of attrition, Grimes said.

Layoffs were determined based on staff performance reviews, in which teachers received ratings on their effectiveness.

Although some staff members received layoff notices, Grimes said it doesn’t mean they are ineffective educators. He said very few staff members were found to be "minimally effective."

“A lot are effective, but due to peer numbers, they were laid off,” he said.

Grimes said they still plan to fill three positions by the end of summer: choir director, elementary school teacher and high school science teacher. The district will also hire staff for its Great Start Readiness Program because the district received additional spaces for increased enrollment needs.

Grand Haven school officials are projecting strong enrollment numbers  throughout the district this fall, which will play a factor in next year’s budget.

Although current enrollment projections surpass last year's projections, Grimes said they won’t have official data for a few more weeks.

“We’ll get more solid numbers when staff return from summer vacation,” he said.

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