Wood County school system to cut 29 positions

PARKERSBURG – About 29 positions will be cut from Wood County Schools next year, according to officials.

The school system is looking at a net reduction of 14.5 professional positions, Bob Harris, assistant superintendent of pupil and personnel services, said.

On the service side, 14 employees would be impacted by the Reduction In Force, Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services, said. She also listed an additional seven people on the preferred transfer list who have enough seniority to have a job next year.

“But the job they are currently assigned will not be a position next year,” she said.

The staffing limits were approved by the board at its last meeting. Harris said the new limits are based on enrollment and the number of teachers to teach at that enrollment.

School administrators sent 21 letters to professionals. School personnel have spent the last few days meeting with staff that are, will and could be affected by the RIF.

Thirteen employees are tied in seniority, Harris said. Officials have to declare a tie breaker to rank those employees.

The tie breaker, because of an error, had to be redone Wednesday.

“We are actually cutting 25. But we will be adding back 10.5 positions,” Harris said.

The school system is also losing four positions in Title I staffing that have been vacated.

If the reason for RIF or transfer no longer exists, the school system can rescind the transfer, Harris said.

Last year, 46 professional positions were placed on the RIF list. It was the county’s largest reduction-in-force for the school system in nearly a dozen years, officials said.

By the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, 26 professional employees and 14 service personnel had been placed on the preferred recall list.

“Last summer we had a lot of them do that and we were able to get them back in the original position,” Harris said. “It is like a card game; one thing (seniority) trumps another.”