School board approves teacher, program reductions

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Albert Lea School Board approved several program reductions and contract non-renewals for next year during its meeting Monday.

Jim Quiram, director of technology and human resources, said the procedure is done yearly. The 11 probationary teachers not being renewed are Tiffany Buchanan, Alicia Erickson, Amy Gartland, Phyllis Giebner, Katie Grundstrom, Taryn Israel Nechanicky, Amanda Loucks, Britt McFadden, Jacqueline Rowland, Alissa Sauer and Samantha Waibel.

The non-renewals passed on a 4-2 vote. School Board members Julie Johnson, Mark Ciota, Bill Leland and Linda Laurie voted yes. Jill Marin and Dave Klatt voted no.

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Quiram said the non-renewals were due to program reductions, teachers who were on a waiver, variance, or who were community experts who had reached the end of their one-year waiver.

A probationary teacher is a teacher who is in his or her first three years of teaching at a district. After a teacher is renewed for their fourth contract year, the teacher achieves tenure and has more rights to their job.

Quiram said the teachers could come back next year.

The programs being cut or reduced are as follows, where one full-time equivalent, or FTE, equals one full-time teaching position:

• 2.5 FTE elementary positions: Quiram said the reduction is due to a small increase in students who are leaving elementary school.

• 0.4 FTE Southwest developmental adapted physical education.

• 1.5 FTE Southwest special education: Quiram said the reduction was due to fewer students needing special education services.

• 1.0 FTE Fountain Lake Treatment Center: Superintendent Mike Funk said the treatment center paused adolescent treatment, so the position was reassigned to the high school.

The programs were reduced by a 5-1 vote, with Marin as the dissenting vote.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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