Clarifying what happened with teacher layoffs

EDITOR:

In response to the letter titled “Teacher layoff handled poorly,” I would like to clarify some information about this situation to ensure a better understanding.

Iron Mountain-Kingsford Community Schools provides an Alternative High School for area students in need of a non-traditional educational setting. The program has experienced a steady decline in enrollments in the last few years. Programmatic changes that need to be made are in no way an “emergency or last minute decision” but have been an ongoing possibility and conversation taking place this year and each of the last few school years.

As reported in previous The Daily News articles, there were three teachers who received standard layoff notifications (often referred to as “pink slips”), all of whom are valued and appreciated. These teachers were informed, once year-end information was available, that layoff notifications were, unfortunately, a necessary procedure due to our enrollment projection. It was also explained to the teachers that every effort would be made to try to maintain the staff if the enrollment situation were to improve over the summer months.

In order to maintain programming, nearly every school district has been faced with these extremely difficult declining enrollment-based staffing decisions. The Alternative High School will continue to play a vital role in our community, as it has for over 40 years, which is a direct reflection of the quality of the teaching staff.

Julie Wonders

Director

Iron Mountain-Kingsford Community Schools