CLEARFIELD – On Monday night, the Clearfield school board approved collapsing all professional positions that are represented under the collective bargaining agreement with the Clearfield Education Association at the conclusion of this school year.
The district collapsed the positions in preparation for the upcoming school building consolidation. The district has embarked upon a $36 million expansion and renovation of the Clearfield Area High School and a $10.6 million expansion and renovation of the Clearfield Elementary School.
The district has voted to permanently close the Clearfield Area Middle School and to convert the CAHS into a 7-12 campus. The district has also voted to permanently close Girard-Goshen, Centre and Bradford Township Elementary Schools and to convert the CES into a K-6 campus.
When asked by the press after last week’s committee meetings, Director of Curriculum Bruce Nicolls said collapsing the positions will affect approximately 180 – 190 teachers, school counselors and psychologists and nurses. However, Nicolls didn’t anticipate many if any furloughs among the professional staff.
According to him, the district has been cutting back over the past three years. He noted the district has been reducing staff over time through retirements and wasn’t filling positions that it anticipated would be eliminated with the consolidation. If any furloughs occurred, he said it would be among staff members who fill very specialized positions that the district wouldn’t need many of after the consolidation.
Last week, Superintendent Terry Struble also explained that the district would proceed with collapsing the positions and putting them up for rebid. Then, the district would approve the list of staff positions for rebid and in March, it would approve the placement of the professional staff.
So far as secretarial and janitorial positions, Struble said the district hasn’t determined if there would be any staff reductions. The district, he said, would make these decisions closer to the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30. Struble said the district also hasn’t made any decisions so far as its administrative structure.
Nicolls noted last week that the district has already cut back administrative staff. The district, he said, didn’t fill positions vacated by a human resources coordinator and a high school principal.
On Monday night, the district also approved an early retirement incentive. The purpose, Struble said, was two-fold to create a savings for the district and also to help with the realignment of staff with the upcoming school building consolidation.