School boards rubber-stamp pink slips |

School boards rubber-stamp pink slips

The high school district’s layoff situation got a tad brighter yesterday after teachers voted earlier this week to take five furlough days next calendar year.

Nevada Joint Union High School District trustees approved 11.5 teacher layoff notices yesterday, a slight improvement over the 12.6 that would have been laid off had furloughs not passed. Employees will get those preliminary notifications by March 15, but jobs can still be saved in the following weeks.

It’s still not as optimistic as a February estimate that indicated furloughs would save all but nine certificated jobs.

“We have to be a bit more conservative,” said Superintendent Ralf Swenson, who said the district still doesn’t know how many employees would retire or whether classified employees would take the furlough package. “It has a little cushion built into it.”

The district faces a $2.1 million shortfall for the coming school year. Positions to be cut are one administrator, the equivalent of one counselor and 9.5 full-time-equivalent teaching positions, Swenson said.

Like most districts in western Nevada County, the high school district is facing a double-whammy of declining enrollment and plummeting funds from the state of California, which faces another year of dizzying deficits.

The district educates nearly 4,000 students at two main high schools and several alternative campuses in the western county.

The gavel also came down at local elementary school districts. Among developments at this week’s school board meetings:

• Grass Valley School District’s board approved preliminary layoff notices for 5.85 full-time-equivalent teacher positions at a meeting Tuesday night. Other budget reductions are still up for negotiation.

The four-campus district educates about 1,670 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

• Union Hill School District greenlighted layoff notices for 6.4 teacher positions and 1.6 full-time administrative positions at a meeting Tuesday night.

Most of the layoffs come because of declining enrollment, not the district’s $330,000 deficit, Superintendent Eric Fredrickson said. Teachers who are laid off have a preference if they apply to work at Union Hill Charter School.

The district, with two schools at one campus east of Grass Valley, educates about 770 students.

• Clear Creek School District trustees voted in favor of layoff notices for 0.15 positions. The district’s deficit is about $12,000, but even that may go away by the end of the year.

“We’re feeling very lucky,” said Superintendent Scott Lay. “We really worked hard at this.”

Clear Creek’s enrollment increased last year, and educates about 150 students at the district’s single, K-8 school south of Grass Valley on McCourtney Road.

• Nevada City School District voted Tuesday night to lay off the principal of Gold Run Elementary for the 2010-11 school year. The position is part-time, and the principal, Kate Wiley, retains her part-time role as special education coordinator.

At an earlier meeting, the district approved layoff notices that will hit about 20 employees.

The district also is seeking a community member to fill out a committee to consider whether to close Gold Run or Nevada City Elementary. For information on that role, contact Superintendent Roxanne Brown Gilpatric at (530) 265-1820.

NCSD’s board meets again at 5 p.m. today at Seven Hills Middle School library.

The district teaches about 1,300 students in kindergarten through eighth grade in five programs on four campuses.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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