As part of the staffing process for its 11 LEAD schools, Fort Wayne Community Schools has hired back 148 of the 284 teachers the district laid off in early May, according to the personnel report approved by the FWCS board Monday night. All the job fairs to staff the district's schools have been completed.
Surplus teachers and other teachers who received reduction-in-force or lay-off notices will be notified of any remaining positions in the district within the next week, said Fort Wayne Education Association President Al Jacquay.
“We hope to continue to reduce that number (284), but we don't know for sure how many we will be able to hire back yet,” he said.
Jacquay said three situations create a surplus in teachers: the closing of Elmhurst High School and Pleasant Center Elementary; the LEAD staffing process because all teachers are required to reapply for positions at those 11 schools; and a reduction in a certain program at any school.
The interviewing process for the 11 LEAD (Leading Educational Achievement with Distinction) Schools is outlined in the agreement between FWCS and the Fort Wayne Education Association, the bargaining unit for teachers. The district's LEAD schools are Abbett, Adams, Bloomingdale, Fairfield and South Wayne elementary schools; Kekionga, Miami and Northwood middle schools; and North Side, South Side and Wayne high schools. These are low-performing schools chosen for a district-wide transformation initiative.
Last month, some board members were concerned that the LEAD staffing process would create a surplus so large that the district would be bound through the master teacher contract to pay teachers without positions. But, board President Mark GiaQuinta said that no longer seemed to be the case with the number of positions still available in the district. Jacquay said surplus teachers will be placed in positions first, then RIF teachers, according to licenses and certifications.
Superintendent Wendy Robinson is expected to give a full update on staffing at the Aug. 9 board meeting.