Some staff will be cut and some students will be moving to a different building next school year at Greenbush-Middle River. In front of an estimated crowd of over 100 in the GMR School Cafeteria in Greenbush, the GMR School Board approved option two, one of six, to reduce expenditures by a minimum of $292,264.19 during a March 27 Special Meeting. The motion to approve this option passed by a 6-1 vote, with board member Laurie Stromsodt voting against it.
This option to cut into the $400,000 plus district deficit, involves moving and combining some classes and cutting staff effective for the 2017-18 school year. Under this option, all seventh to twelfth grade students will attend the Greenbush school site next school year, and each site will have its own elementary, with some elementary grades being combined. The Greenbush school site will have its own kindergarten to sixth grade classes and the Middle River school site will have its own kindergarten to fifth grade classes. As the board discussed, it may have to evaluate the classes each year.
This option also involves making some staff cuts. The GMR elementary staff will be cut down from 11 to 10 full-time teachers, amounting to an estimated $53,678.37 reduction. The district also is cutting one administrator, totaling $116,412.50, one full-time Social Science teacher, amounting to $64,206.90, and one full-time English teacher, totaling $57,965.92.
It also involves adjusting special education caseloads in the high school and elementary, making possible reductions in other secondary teaching positions, and making reductions in non-certified staff, such as paraprofessionals, and clerical, food service, and custodial staff. Under its motion, the board directed administration to fine tune this option.
Before handing the meeting over to the board members to discuss the six different options, Jerome reminded them that they had the ability to make a decision that night, allowing the district to notify affected staff members and allowing these staff members to make decisions impacting their families. He also said the board had the ability to push back a decision and in turn delay the district’s communication to possible affected staff members on the certainty of their futures.
“I, no different than any member of the public here, or board member, care deeply about every staff member we have and about every student we have,” Jerome said. “… I indicated at the last meeting that there’s no one right answer. It depends on whose view you’re looking at this from. It depends on what you value and what you hope for.”
To see more of this story, read the March 29 issue of The Tribune. To find out how the board arrived at its decision that night, read an upcoming issue of The Tribune in print or online.