Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Bob Dais has had his hands full the past few months.
Hood River County School District's human resources director has been trying to minimize the job losses resulting from cuts to next year's school budget.
Though staffing decisions are tentative overall and some decisions won't be made until the end of the year, Dais said that the district is wrapping up its teacher, administrative and classified assignments this week.
"Though the district had to reduce its staffing substantially, it was through a combination of retirements, staff electing to work in job-share positions, resignations and leave requests we were able to place most of our teachers," he said.
"The staff have been through a lot and I can only commend the professionalism each displayed as I met with them to inform them of their job loss," Dais said.
Overall, the 2011-12 budget cuts meant the school district was faced with reductions as follows:
Classified staff - 10 FTE (full time equivalent) positions, including instructional support, custodial and secretarial;
Licensed staff - 22.38 FTE positions, including elementary PE (2.05) and music (2.55) specialists, elementary teachers (5.45) , high school positions (4.33) including computer apps, credit recovery, Spanish, theater, English Language Learners and early childhood, middle school teachers (2.00) including health (Wy'east) and consumer specialist (HRMS), district child development specialist (1.00) and Pine Grove and Dos Mundos teaching positions (5.00);
Administrative - 1.55 FTE positions, including Cascade Locks principal (.50), maintenance supervisor (.50) and Pine Grove principal (.55);
Confidential staff - 1.00, district office
From this initial "reduction in force" of nearly 35 positions, Dais has been able to get that list shortened to 11 names, with the aforementioned combination of retirements, job sharing, resignations and leaves of absence. Those staff members are on a recall list, and will be placed in open positions as they occur.
The list includes four elementary PE specialists, three elementary music specialists, two child development specialists, an early childhood education teacher and one credit recovery teacher. Dais stressed that the list will change by the end of the year.
Dais will bring the school board up to date on personnel issues at its next regular meeting, 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Transportation building in Odell.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge