GILFORD — Many of the 45 to 50 parents of children in the local school district expressed some trepidation last night about elimination the position of middle school vice principal.
The parents who spoke compared the elimination of the position to the elimination of the Gilford Elementary School vice principal about eight years ago and said there primary concern is that teaching staff won't get the administrative support for education and disciplinary issues.
Most parents wanted the administrative team to continue the way it currently is, and there was even some support for bringing back an assistant principal at the elementary, which isn't likely to happen.
"I didn't move to Gilford to save money," said one woman who declined to be identified. "Do we have to make these cuts."
The "cuts" are really a proposed restructuring of the 10 people who make up the administrative team for the School District. For fiscal year 2015-2016, there will be no reduction in the number of people on the team nor will there be any reduction in the budget.
Right now, the administrative staff includes a superintendent, a business administrator, a special services director, a technology director and a curriculum director at the SAU level.
In addition, there is a principal and vice-principal at the high school, a principal and a vice-principal at the middle school and a principal at the elementary school.
With the sudden resignation of the Gilford Middle School principal and with declining enrollments projected throughout the district, the School Board already decided to move the high school principal to the middle school and advertise for the vacancy.
Last night, Superintendent Kent Hemingway recommended converting the positions of district-wide curriculum director and the middle school vice principal to two positions that would coordinate both curriculum and student supervision.
Hemingway said he would like to keep one person at each of the two upper buildings as much as possible, saying he's not a fan of moving administrators from building to building.
He said those two individuals are already employed at the school and he expects them to stay on with their new job responsibilities. Any proposed cuts to the administrative team would come in fiscal year 2016-2017, when Hemingway is recommending the administrative team be reduced from 10 to 9 "point something," meaning, at this point, he just doesn't know.
Hemingway told the parents that the teachers and the teachers' union have already been appraised of the changes and more meetings with both would likely continue.
As of last night, the School Board hadn't made a final decision on Hemingway's proposals.