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FWCS recalls teachers

The Fort Wayne Community Schools board Monday voted to recall 149 of the district’s 311 previously laid-off teachers.

Remaining laid-off teachers should learn their fate next Monday, when union leaders determine who else will be called back.

Although the district has yet to finalize its recall list, board President Mark GiaQuinta said estimates suggested fewer than 91 teachers would lose their jobs. Also, the board voted to lay off eight secretaries, one cafeteria assistant, two groundskeepers and a custodian.

As part of a $15 million budget cut and an effort to improve 11 of its struggling schools, the school board voted in the spring to eliminate 91 teaching positions and free up many educators for reassignment. As a result, hundreds of educators have waited months to learn whether they still have a job with the district.

The district recently finished several job fairs for regular teaching positions and those in LEAD schools – the moniker the district gave low-performing schools targeted for improvement.

Chief academic officer Steve Cobb said the board would receive an update on staffing at the next board meeting Aug. 9.

Cobb said teachers who were “surplused,” – removed from their job but guaranteed a position in the fall – would learn of their placements by the end of this week. He said coaches for minor fall sports teams such as golf or cross country would be presented for board approval at the next meeting. In the meantime, he said, student-athletes were being trained and supervised by volunteers.

Teachers hired at the district’s 11 LEAD schools were required to meet a set of criteria, including showing a commitment to change and a willingness to receive additional professional training. Those who serve in LEAD schools will be evaluated in a different manner from other teachers and will receive a $3,000 lump sum after serving three years in a LEAD school.