Sole middle school Spanish program to be axed

Redlands Middle School will end District 51’s only middle school-level Spanish program this fall as part of $5.7 million in district-wide budget reductions.

As part of the reductions, Redlands Principal Kelly Reed said his school decided to cut a non-tenured teacher who split time between teaching basic Spanish and gifted and talented programming. That teacher has accepted a position in a California school district.

Colorado public schools are required to provide programming for gifted students, so a Redlands Middle School teacher who used to teach social studies will split time next school year between teaching gifted and talented classes and working as a literacy intervention teacher. Three teachers who teach math, literacy and science will each teach a section of social studies next year to make up for the absence of a social studies position.

The literacy intervention position is new to the school. Reed said he wishes he could have kept Spanish as an elective but said the school needed to do more to help students struggling with literacy.

“We need to get kids proficient in English first,” he said.

Reed refuted a comment that appeared in Sunday’s “You Said It” column in The Daily Sentinel that claimed Spanish will be replaced by a History of Rock n’ Roll class at Redlands Middle.

Reed said the rock history class has existed for three years and is taught for a semester once a year by a tenured teacher who also teaches band, jazz band, woodwinds and brass.

All eight District 51 middle schools were asked to cut the equivalent of one full-time certified position as part of proposed 2012-13 budget cuts. In addition to the part-time Spanish position, Redlands Middle also plans to cut a part-time progress monitor, a position similar to an academic counselor.

The school also will lose a special education secretary and a resource teacher to other schools this fall. Those schools are expected to gain students needing those services this fall.

Each middle school is expected to lose one library secretary and one Leadership for Education, Achievement and Graduation (LEAG) advocate in next school year’s budget cuts. More positions are being lost at the middle schools than at the high school or elementary school level in 2012-13’s proposed cut.

District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee said that may have something to do with middle schools losing 7.5 certified positions in 2011-12 budget cuts, while elementary schools had to cut 27.5 certified positions and high schools lost 17 certified jobs.

“There’s a perception middle schools haven’t taken their share of cuts in past years, but this year it’s their turn,” McGee said.


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