DELPHOS — The Delphos school board Tuesday night voted to extend the labor agreement with classified staff for another year. The current contract expires at the end of June, and this contract would allow school officials and the union another year to negotiate a longer agreement.
It will also give everyone a chance to see where the district is financially.
“This freezes the wages right where they’re at unless they were in line for a step increase, so they would receive that,” said Doug Westrick, Delphos schools superintendent. “In these times, where we’re pretty unstable, it allows us to at least have an idea what that’s going to look like and just give us some stability going forward.”
The school board approved the resignation of four teachers — David Sterns (music), Karla Koller (second grade), Erica Heath (high school English/language arts and Rick Dientsberger (third grade). Not filling those positions is a distinct possibility.
“Those are some decisions our board is going to have to make, you know, in our current financial situation. If it doesn’t have to be replaced, we probably won’t,” Westrick said. “We understand this year coming up is going to be a tough one again. We were looking at more staff members that have left and this just stretches our people a little thinner but we’ve got to do whatever we got to do to get through these cuts.”
This was the first school board meeting since classes ended and Westrick reflected on the experience.
“I don’t know that you can ever prepare for everything. But it definitely allowed us to put a plan in place, and we’re still looking at what the fall could look like. And you know, if we’re caught in a situation again, obviously, we would be more prepared, but you know, who would have seen this coming? It was definitely a learning experience,” Westrick said.
With the state starting to opening things back up, Westrick is optimistic schools will too.
“That’s my expectation. I like to see it like an all-or-nothing type thing. It makes it very, very difficult to plan if you’re like going partial days or we have to keep the six-foot rule in place,” Westrick added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.