Seven Nicolet staffers receive final layoff notices

However, positions might still be restored

June 2, 2010

Glendale — Seven staff members at Nicolet High School have received final layoff notices, but District Administrator Rick Monroe said they may be recalled if more budget cuts can be found.

"My hope is a number will be called back eventually," Monroe said.

The School Board approved the layoffs for the next school year at a special meeting Friday as an audience of about 30 teachers, students and parents watched and listened. Eleven staff members were issued preliminary notices in April, but Monroe said additional trimming of the budget allowed the district to keep four positions.

The staff cuts will save the district about $380,000.

Although six teachers and a guidance counselor received the notices, the layoffs represent the equivalent of 3.8 full-time employees, which means most of those affected are seeing a reduction in hours and are not losing their jobs.

Nicolet's enrollment has been falling for several years, and Monroe said most of the layoffs were due to that decline.

As they had at an earlier meeting, several parents and faculty members on Friday urged the board to find other ways to reduce the budget.

Social studies teacher Dann Jacobson asked the board to find the $23,000 necessary to retain a teacher in his department. The teacher, who was full time, was cut to a 0.3 FTE.

Monroe said that position would be the first to be restored, if the board finds the money to do so.

Jacobson suggested taking the money from the district's fund balance, but board member Jennifer Peltz said using that fund for recurring expenses is not fiscally sound.

"The fund would be depleted in three to five years," she said.

Monroe and Glendale-River Hills District Administrator Larry Smalley have worked out a job-sharing arrangement in which a math teacher losing a full-time position at Nicolet will be shared with Glen Hills Middle School. He will retain a 0.2 position at Nicolet and work a 0.9 position at Glen Hills.

A similar arrangement will be offered to a guidance counselor at Nicolet who is going from full time to half time but will be able to take a half-time position at Parkway Elementary School, if desired, Monroe said.

Business Manager Jeff Dellutri said the elimination of 3.8 FTEs would reduce the 2010-11 budget deficit by $379,765, but that further reductions would be necessary.

The district is working on contracts with three unions. The School Board and teachers union representatives met in a mediation session that lasted until 1 a.m. Friday.

Both sides moved closer in that session, Dellutri said. Without revealing the figures, he also said the settlement that is being discussed is higher than the most recent School Board offer.

Dellutri will present a proposed budget at the June 21 board meeting.

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