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Schools rehire 28 teachers

June 1, 2013

WOONSOCKET – The School Committee voted to rehire another 28 of its laid-off teachers following a special meeting in the Middle School on Thursday.
School Committeeman Christopher Roberts said the rehired teachers were in a mix of positions in local schools including physical education, math, family and consumer science, and counseling that were issued notices of layoffs this spring.
All of the recalled posts are funded in the school budget for the coming year or covered by grant funds, Roberts said. The rehirings were approved by the four panel members present — School Committee Chairwoman Vimala Phongsavanh, John Donlon, Roberts and Eleanor Nadeau.
“They were all budgeted so we haven’t added anyone that is new to the budget,” he said.
The committee had laid-off 59 teachers as part of its move to meet a state-mandated March 1 deadline and had already recalled a number of affected staff members before the Thursday session.
Roberts said there may be additional recalls for positions in special education that were held up by the department’s review of special-ed operations. Those job recalls could appear on the agenda for the committee’s regular session on Wednesday at Middle School or for another meeting before June 19, Roberts noted. Any teachers still on layoff when school ends on June 19 will be entitled to employment compensation even if they are recalled to their positions in the fall.
Roberts did not believe the department would have many staff members in that status this year.
“I think we have a much better handle on it this year so I don’t anticipate that,” he said.
The School Committee will meet in the Hamlet Building cafeteria on Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. The panel is also expected to hear a recommendation from School Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan on the principal vacancies at Bernon Heights, Gov. Aram Pothier and Coleman Elementary schools for the coming school year.
The Bernon Heights vacancy resulted from George Nasuti’s transfer to a central office position earlier this year. An update on the Bernon Heights playground is also expected for the session.

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