Dear QAE Parents/Guardians,
Each September, Seattle Public Schools examines initial school enrollment and makes staffing adjustments district-wide. This year, SPS enrollment is significantly below projections which impacted many schools across the district. Queen Anne Elementary is one of several SPS elementary schools directed to make staffing adjustments. This means we must adjust our staffing by one full-time teacher. Our next step is to determine how to best do this while having the least impact on students.
In light of losing a full-time teacher, which would force a reorganization of almost all of our classes, the staff came up with a unique approach that minimizes the impact on our children. We thank Ms. Bonnie Dudley, Ms. Megan Palumbo and Ms. Helene McCormick for their dedication to supporting our students in crafting an innovative plan.
After consensus with the Building Leadership Team (composed of staff, PTSA Executive and parents; K – 5th grade teachers and Career Ladder Teachers) and QAE staff, here is our plan:
- Ms. Bonnie Dudley and Ms. Megan Palumbo will job-share the 2nd grade class. When Ms. Palumbo goes on maternity leave in March, Ms. Dudley will teach the class full time for the remainder of the year.
- Ms. McCormick, our 0.6 Reading Specialist, voluntarily reduced her assignment by 0.1 FTE. PTSA generously agreed to fund an additional 0.4 FTE so that QAE will keep a Reading Specialist at QAE. We are thrilled that Ms. McCormick will continue supporting QAE explorers this year. Thank you so much, PTSA!
What does this mean for your child?
- All our classes remain intact. No classes will need to be reorganized.
- While Ms. Bonnie is our least senior teacher, her class remains in place because Ms. Bonnie and Ms.
- Palumbo volunteered to job share.
- Thanks to PTSA additional funding, we will have a 0.5 FTE Reading Specialist at QAE in 2018-19.
- We will not have a 0.5 Math Specialist at QAE in 2018-2019.
Ms. Bonnie, Ms. Palumbo, QAE staff and I will work closely with students and parents in the 2nd grade class to navigate this unexpected change. All students will continue to have great teachers and continue learning alongside their current classmates.
- Even if your child isn’t in Ms. Bonnie’s class, your child may still hear about this change or have a friend impacted by the change. While none of us wants a change to happen, modeling for our students that we will get through this together is important. We can help our students through this process by:
- Talking with students to identify feelings created by this change and how to deal with feelings. Expressing both sadness at the change and confidence that we will manage this in our supportive community helps students build their emotional and social skills.
- Providing reassurance that once these changes are made, there will not be additional SPS staffing changes in the coming weeks and months.
- Helping students to identify ways they can help both themselves and others. Checking in with friends and expressing support ensures that all students know that they have a role in impacting our community and our world.
- Ms. Bonnie, Ms. Palumbo and Ms. McCormick want parents to know that they understand this change has to be made, and they want to make it as calmly and smoothly as possible for students. Expressing your support to teachers as we make this change by writing a note or sending an email would be ideal, as they are very mindful of the impact adult conversations can have in front of students.
- Read the SPS post on Staffing Adjustments.
- Below are Reorganization FAQ which parents may find helpful.
- I welcome your questions and don’t hesitate to reach out to me! Please contact me by phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.
- This article may provide some helpful information to parents as we help students navigate this unexpected change
I want to express my appreciation and support to every QAE family, our incredible QAE staff, our BLT and PTSA. Collaboratively working together has been essential during this process. We will get through this change over the next few days, and most importantly, we will get through this together as a supportive QAE community.
Janine Roy, Principal
QAE 2018 Reorganization FAQ
When a school has to reduce a teaching position, how is this done?
When a teacher needs to be displaced in a school, we are contractually required to ask for volunteers and if none emerge, then the least senior classroom teacher is automatically displaced. At QAE, we had three volunteers which allows us to keep classes intact:
- Ms. Palumbo volunteered to change her position to 0.5 second grade so that her 0.5 Math Specialist position could be eliminated.
- Ms. Bonnie volunteered to reduce from full-time to half time in order to remain at QAE.
- Ms. McCormick, our 0.6 Reading Specialist, volunteered to reduce her assignment by 0.1 FTE. PTSA is generously funding an additional 0.4 FTE so that Ms. McCormick can remain as QAE’s Reading Specialist. Huge thanks to PTSA for your incredible support for students!
Are we at risk of losing any additional staff/resources?
No. Staffing adjustments are only made at the beginning of the year at elementary schools.
Could we have made cuts/savings in other places to save this position?
No. Schools are allocated separate budgets for staffing and supplies. Supply budgets cannot be moved to cover staffing needs, nor would they be sufficient to meet these costs.
Were enrollments down across all Seattle Public Schools?
Enrollment at the elementary level is down across the district. Schools are impacted differently based on their boundaries, housing trends, etc.
How does this compare to other elementary schools in our area?
Other elementary schools in the Queen Anne community had a difference between their projected enrollment and actual enrollment as well.
Did we take all the students off our waitlist?
Yes, all interested families were accepted at QAE this year.