Steamboat Springs School Board contacts
Robin Crossan, president (Dist. 4), 871-1284
Denise Connelly, treasurer (Dist. 3), 879-1910
Laura Anderson, secretary (Dist. 5), 871-4873
Lisa Brown, vice president (Dist. 2), 879-5969
Brian T. Kelly, member (Dist. 1), 879-1530
*Other contact information can be found by going here and clicking on “Board of Education” under the “District” tab at the top of the page
Steamboat Springs About 30 Steamboat Springs School District employees have been told their positions “will probably not be renewed” next school year, Superintendent Shalee Cunningham said during a School Board budget workshop Monday night. Including retiring and resigning employees, total district staffing could be down 52 positions by the start of the 2010-11 school year.
The staff reductions will help the district cut an estimated $2 million in the 2010-11 school year budget. Cutting staff, whose salaries and benefits account for 87 percent of the district’s general fund, are necessary because of a decrease next school year in state funding, estimated at 8 percent. The district also projects a decrease in gifts from the Education Fund Board and increased costs of its employee health insurance and retirement benefits. Cunningham said the district was projecting having to cut $1 million each in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Among those whose positions might not be renewed are 14 probationary teachers — licensed staff who have not been with the district three years — and 17 classified staff members such as custodians, bus drivers or secretaries, Cunningham said.
Cunningham also said nine teachers have indicated they will retire after the school year. Another five have retired on 110-day contracts and may or may not return next school year. Seven others have resigned, Cunningham said. Those figures were current as of Monday.
That makes a total of 52 district personnel, of about 350, who may not be back in 2010-11.
“It hurts all of us to realize people won’t be invited back, who won’t have the same jobs next year,” School Board member Laura Anderson said. “It’s not easy.”
Cunningham reiterated that the district is trying to reduce staff through attrition and not renewing contracts of some probationary teachers instead of a reduction in force, or layoffs.
About 25 district teachers, administrators, parents and community members attended the workshop that began at 6 p.m. at Centennial Hall on 10th Street.
During a 30-minute budget overview, Cunningham presented what staff reductions she will recommend to the School Board for approval. She said they were drafted from recommendations from staff and parent groups, whom she has met with during the past two months. Those recommendations likely will include eliminating:
■ one English Language Learner teacher
■ two Gifted and Talented teachers
■ one and a half full-time equivalent counselors
■ four special education teachers
■ one half-time special education para-professional
■ two Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services teachers in programs the district will provide itself starting next year
■ the athletic director at Steamboat Springs Middle School
■ one middle school reading teacher
■ three instructional support specialists
■ one full-time equivalent Title 1 teacher
■ a portion of the instructional para-professional staff
■ four media para-professionals
■ the district office manager
Other cost-saving measures Cunningham said she would recommend included moving maintenance and operations to each school site, bidding snow removal and gardening, eliminating low-capacity bus routes, eliminating low-capacity sports, reducing the district office budgets by 10 percent, ordering office and classroom supplies in bulk, and making one of the Strawberry Park Elementary School co-principals an associate principal that could work with both elementary schools.
She also mentioned possible fee increases. They included increasing rental fees by 5 percent, field trip fees, the family sports fee max to $375, lunch prices and full-day kindergarten to $200 per month for each student, and not offering any scholarships.
Cunningham called her budget reduction recommendations an “evolving” document that changes every day based on new information she receives. For example, she said the district won’t know how much funding it will receive from the state until May.
“It’s a great big puzzle right now,” Cunningham told the School Board. “We’re trying to be as transparent as possible and give everything we have.”
She is scheduled to present her recommendations for probationary teacher and classified staff reductions at the March 29 School Board meeting. Cunningham has said the district would like to inform any staff member who won’t be asked to return next school year by April 1.
In the meantime, School Board President Robin Crossan implored those who attended the meeting to reach out to their friends and neighbors to provide feedback about the 2010-11 budget.
She said they can post suggestions on the district’s budget blog. It can be accessed via the district’s Web site, www.sssd.k12.co.us, or by visiting www.sssdbudgetblog.blogspot.com. Crossan said parents or teachers also can call Cunningham at 879-1530 to provide feedback about the budget.
“We really need to hear from everyone now,” Crossan said. “Hearing from everyone in May when we have to approve the budget is too late.”
Also at the March 29 meeting, the School Board is scheduled to consider whether to approve the 2010-11 school year calendar.