West Central School Board Discusses Possible Reduction in Force

The West Central School Board discussed a possible reduction in force at their meeting Thursday night. Superintendent Charles Mellon says that due to the projected decrease in enrollment and revenue, the Board may need to cut staff.

“We are planning for the worst case scenario and hoping for the best,” said Mr. Mellon. “In the past, we’ve been able to come out with the best where no one has really had to leave the corporation that did not want to, but still you have to plan for that. We’ll be meeting with the Professional Relations Group to discuss it. We’ll be looking at teacher’s licensing to see how we could move people around so that no one would have to leave West Central if they didn’t have to.”

After the Board meets in April, Mr. Mellon says there could be reduction in force notices handed out to the staff.

“In April, it’s the tough part where you have to go out and give those RIF notices. I’m saying that this is a possibility. Some of it is not even a likelihood, but to protect the school, we have to do that and it’s also a way of protecting the employees, too. We don’t want to say halfway through summer that you don’t have a job. If they realize that there’s a possibility and they want to go look elsewhere then that is an opportunity for them as well.”

Kindergarten roundup was held last week which prompted Mr. Mellon to discuss this issue with the Board.

“We only have 37 students. This is down from 81 students. If there are still people out there that haven’t pre-enrolled their Kindergartener, they need to do so. We’ve had ups and downs like that. We have a first grade class with only 52 students. We have a couple of classes that are right on the bubble with 60 and 61. So, do you leave those at three and put 20 in a class, or financially do you have to put 30 students in a class? That’s something we don’t want to do, but we just have to wait and see what they revenue is going to be.”