Oysterponds school board to vote on teacher layoffs, reduced hours

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06/11/2013 10:00 AM |
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | In a 2010 photo, Oysterponds teacher Jenny Schoenstein helps a kindergartner with a writing exercise. Her name is listed with other teachers expected to be laid off June 30.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | In a 2010 photo, Oysterponds teacher Jenny Schoenstein helps a student with a writing exercise. Ms. Schoenstein’s name is listed with other teachers expected to be laid off June 30.

The Oysterponds school board is expected to approve Superintendent Richard Malone’s proposed teacher layoffs and reduced hours at tonight’s regular meeting in Orient.

First-grade teacher Jenny Schoenstein, second-grade teacher Rebecca Cartselos, and fifth-grade teacher Brittany Knote are slated to be laid off June 30, according to tonight’s agenda.

The district’s first pre-kindergarten teacher Kathy Syron, who started in September, is also listed on the layoff resolution.  Last month the school board had approved a medical leave request for Ms. Syron, who served one term on the Oysterponds Board of Education from 2008 to 2011.

In addition to the proposed layoffs, the school board is expected to vote on reducing the physical education, music and teacher positions from full-time to part-time.

The changes were included in the elementary school’s budget, which voters approved last month.

Due to the district’s dwindling enrollment, Mr. Malone said he’s recommending that the district combine pre-K and kindergarten; first and second grades; third and fourth grades; and fifth and sixth grades. The kindergarten class would continue to start its day in the morning but would be joined by the preschoolers in the afternoon.

The student-to-teacher ratio will increase to 7-to-1 next school year, up from 5-to-1 this year, Mr. Malone has said.

Oysterponds has been in negotiations with its teachers union to replace the contract that expired June 30, 2011. Since the district and the union have reached an impasse, the matter is being mediated through the state’s Public Employment Relations Board.

As for technology upgrades plans, the superintendent will recommend tonight the board approve a $11,375 contract with Switch Technologies of Rocky Point for cable installation work.

There are also several transportation contracts up for a vote tonight.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Pick up Thursday’s paper for more on this story.

Oysterponds school board meeting agenda, June 11, 2013

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