28 teachers not retained because of budget crunch

Twenty-eight School District 51 teachers did not have their contracts renewed for next school year in order to save money in the district’s budget.

The school board during its meeting Tuesday approved the nonrenewals of the teachers, who work at 19 different schools and all were on probationary status.

The teachers were listed separately from 87 probationary teachers or other certified employees who were not renewed for next year because their supervisors decided not to rehire them or because they chose to leave the district.

Probationary teachers face nonrenewal every year, and the district doesn’t have to give a reason for those decisions. What’s new this year is the list of nonrenewals for budget reasons.

Because 28 teachers were not renewed to save money and not because of poor performance, they will be guaranteed an interview for another job in District 51 if one opens, according to Jim Smyth, president of Mesa Valley Education Association, which represents local teachers in contract negotiations.

Smyth said the people who were not renewed for budget reasons were in their third year with the district, the year when schools decide whether to give a person nonprobationary status, which is similar to tenure.

“It’s a good thing because they would have probationary, fourth-year status” if rehired, Smyth said.

The district anticipates about 80 teaching or related positions will open this fall through retirements or resignations. All but 42 open teaching positions will be filled.

The district also approved two new administrative appointments during Tuesday’s meeting. Taylor Elementary Principal Corey Hafey will replace Mark Schmalz, who is retiring, as principal of Appleton Elementary.

Jodi Mimmack, who served as principal of Fruita Monument High School until December, will become executive director of instructional support this fall. Mimmack has been serving in a temporary position as project leader of instructional initiatives for the school district since January, when Fruita Monument Assistant Principal Lee Carleton stepped in as acting principal, according to District 51 spokesman Jeff Kirtland. Kirtland said the decision has not been made on who will serve as the school’s principal this fall.

Mimmack’s new job is being created as part of a reorganization of the curriculum and instructional departments that will take 26 positions and boil them down to 16 jobs, Kirtland said. The reorganization is expected to save the district $568,000 next year.

The school board also decided Tuesday to extend the deadline for Glade Park Community School to apply to be a district charter school this fall.


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