It’s often difficult to reduce to a sound bite complex issues. It is especially true in a heated Town Hall meeting. However, certain questions deserve a thoughtful response. In today’s blog I explain the principles behind teacher retention.
April 1st is the deadline by which TanenbaumCHAT must issue layoff notices. Since 2008 when enrollment began to decline, teachers wait anxiously through March to hear whether or not they or their colleagues will be laid off.
The collective bargaining agreements govern teacher layoffs in terms of who and when. As a general rule, the most recently hired teachers, regardless of which campus they are from, are the first to be laid off when the number of students decline in the overall system. That is, a teacher may be laid off from a campus that is not experiencing a declining student population if he or she is the most recently hired.
This coming year, as enrollment in the combined TanenbaumCHAT system is expected to drop by over 100 students, teachers on both campuses wait with nervous uncertainty to hear if they have a job next year. We know this is very difficult for teachers and we empathize with them.
Understanding this reality, the administration works creatively to retain as many teachers as possible. For those whom we simply cannot retain, we help teachers network and find new employment. We write letters of recommendation and speak to other school administrators.
It is a sad reality that as enrollment declines, we must say goodbye to friends and colleagues. Our hope is that the number is as few as possible and that every one of us remembers to say thank you for playing a role in shaping the next generation of strong, passionate and proud Jews.