Carbon District won't lay off teachers in grade restructuring
One of the fears residents and employees had with the vote by the Carbon Board of Education in December to move ninth grade students to Carbon High School and move sixth grade students to the junior highs (or as they will be known next year, middle schools) was that some teachers in the district might lose their jobs. This was projected by some because the district did announce at the time that with the changes they would require fewer teachers.
But those fears have now been largely quelled, because as of last week all the determinations as to where existing staff will go has been pretty much settled. And despite the fact that there will be five to six fewer teaching positions in the district, no one will lose their job.
"I need to say that I am very appreciative of the positive attitude that the teachers in this school district have had about all this," said Carbon District Superintendent Steve Carlsen on Friday afternoon. "We had some situations where we needed teachers in a slot, and despite the fact some of them did not apply for transfers yet we asked them to do it, they were positive about the move they had to make."
It basically began at the high school. With 240 more students coming to campus next year, building space was not a problem; however having enough teachers for those students was.
"We will have four teachers retiring from the high school this year, so with that we had eight slots to fill," stated Carlsen. "We decided to try and fill them from within and posted them only in the district."
After everything was said and done there was only one position left open that was not filled by a transfer and that was for a social studies teacher.
"It happened that we needed a head football coach and so we made that position into a teaching position too," said Carlsen. "We hired Jan Jorgensen to fill both those responsibilities."
It will be the first time that the head football coach and a teaching position are matched together in some time. In the past few years the head coaches job was held by people who were not teachers.
"Once that was done we had to re-post the jobs that were open at the two junior high schools because of the transfers," said Carlsen. "We hoped that there would be a natural progression."
The district found itself with 15 transfers applying for 10 positions in the two schools.
"It worked wonderfully," said the superintendent. "We had six sixth grade teachers without a home," said Carlsen.
Most of those will be moving into the middle school slots. Carlsen said there are a couple of misplaced sixth grade teachers but there are three elementary school openings within the district as well. He feels that will all be resolved.
In the meantime the district through the whole thing was able to reduce overall full-time equivalent positions by six. This was done because the high school is changing its block schedule to a 10 block five period day.
"Now we are working on slotting students into where they need to be and setting schedules," concluded Carlsen.