LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore has sent a letter to all employees affected by school closures and reorganizations on January 16.
In the letter Poore goes on to say, all non-certified employees at Hall High School, J.A. Fair High School, McClellan High School and Rockefeller Elementary School (K-5) will be declared vacant. This includes positions such as aides.
“I was surprised,” parent of a Hall High School student, Edward Brown said. “I mean I feel sad about them teachers. Where are you going to put them?”
The letter goes on to say those employees will have the opportunity to apply for any open positions within the district. It also states fewer people will be hired next school year.
“I don’t know how many teachers are at each school, but they got to find a job somewhere,” Brown said.
“I think everybody is very unsure of where they stand, and I think some people are afraid,” Chris Danforth said.
Danforth lives near Hall High School and said he’s concerned about this decision being made just two months after teachers went on strike.
“We’re at the five-year mark of the State Board of Education take over,” Danforth said. “These are all things that are coming out at the eleventh hour with no discernible reason for the actions.”
Meanwhile parents still have a lot of unanswered questions.
“You got athletes at each school, how you going to combine them?” Brown said.
The letter states:
“In order to comply with the recent directive of the Arkansas State Board of Education regarding reorganization of Hall High School and continue implementation of the Little Rock School District Blueprint (Opening of Little Rock Southwest High School, transitioning of Rockefeller Elementary (K-5) students to Washington Elementary, and closing of McClellan and J.A. Fair High Schools), the Little Rock School District (LRSD) seeks to treat all employees at the impacted schools in the same way. All classified employees’ positions at Hall High School, J.A. Fair High School, McClellan High School, and Rockefeller Elementary School (K-5), will be declared vacant. All staff members at the affected schools will have the opportunity to apply for any open positions within the LRSD, including Hall High School, Little Rock Southwest High School, and Washington Elementary School.
LRSD expects to employ fewer employees in the 2020-21 school year than are currently employed for the 2019-20 school year. Employees who do not secure an open position could receive a recommendation for non-renewal. However, there will be many open positions posted throughout LRSD. We encourage employees at Hall, McClellan, J.A. Fair, and Rockefeeler K-5, to apply for those positions at the earliest opportunity when advertised. The LRSD Human Resources Department can assist for those positions. You are responsible for reviewing posted vacancies, submitting an application, and otherwise complying with District procedures for employment possibilities.
One of our main priorities is to be as considerate to affected employees as we possibly can, and go above and beyond what is required in order to be very fair and supportive. Impacted employees will be treated with compassion and dignity during a very difficult time for everyone involved. If you have any questions regarding this memo, please contact the Executive Director of Human Resources, Robert Robinson, by calling 501-447-1106 or vial email at firstname.lastname@example.org or any staff member in the Human Resources Department.
We have worked through challenging situations before and we will again.”LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore