Wood County Schools considering new RIFs

PARKERSBURG – School officials are starting preliminary work on the reduction of personnel.

Bob Harris, assistant superintendent for Wood County Schools, told Wood County school board members Tuesday evening the system is six professional positions and 30 service positions over the funding line. He told board members the annual Reduction in Force would be fewer than 20.

Assistant Superintendent Sue Woodward said officials are looking at having to eliminate 13.5 service personnel positions. She said they may not need to make any reductions among professional personnel. But it’s early in the process.

“It’s preliminary work,” she said. “We are in the “if-then” stage.”

Woodward said officials will begin work on a list of positions being cut due to a lack of need.

“We are looking at where children will be next year, the size of schools and classes, and the caseloads,” she said.

In some cases an aide may be working with a special needs student and no longer be needed at an elementary school because the student to which she’s assigned has moved on to middle school.

“The position at the elementary school is no longer needed, but we post the position for the middle school,” Woodward said.

Woodward noted the elimination of the School Choice program next year will mean the reduction of two bus driver positions.

Harris told the board school officials had 49 employees retire and 17 resign since June 1.

“Retirement will help some, but it won’t help all,” board member Lawrence Hasbargen said.

Board members also approved the retirement of several other employees, including Woodward, who is slated to retire at the end of June.

The board will consider and approve staffing levels at its Jan. 22 meeting. Harris said letters will be mailed to those on the RIF list shortly thereafter.