I went to breakfast this morning with some friends who teach at one of our elementary schools. They told me that someone had been out the day before to give them "the talk." I wasn't sure I understood. "You mean Boss Lady 2.0?" as she is planning to visit all of the elementaries. "No. We and another school are 3 and 4 on the list for closure. This was our 'heads up.' They won't tell us which school is which."
It had been kicked around for some time that three elementaries might be closed. I did mention that to my friends, but it wasn't until later in the day that it hit me: Why would you tell both #3 and #4 if they both aren't seriously being looked out for closure? The district has been pretty open with the top two choices...and there has been a lot of work to keep things out in the open and rumors to a minimum. What reason could there be for stirring up two more schools?
A newspaper article in the area printed an amount close to the magic number I've been hearing: $5 million. That's the shortfall expected. (Each elementary closure = a $.75M savings.) But today, it was revealed that the number could be as high as $11M and Boss Lady 2.0 has already been warned that she will only have a "skeleton crew" in our office next year. She was away today on jury duty.
I could kid myself and think I'm "safe." Science is a core area (although not by SPED standards) and scores are horribly low across the district. One would think that the district will keep a math, a science, and a literacy person on board...that there are lots more "expendable" positions, no matter how essential we may view them.
I don't mind going back to the classroom, which is what will happen if/when my job is cut. I do think that I'll have to make doubly sure to get as much done for district science this year as I possibly can. It may very well be that in a few months, there will be no one to finish the alignments and support the teachers. Whatever we're able to create and get to schools may be the last for a very long time.
I hope the last one out of Curriculum remembers to turn off the lights. The district needs the money.