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Community Message from Superintendent Nelson

Dear Families and Students,

I hope this letter finds you well. It is with a heavy heart that we share some difficult news with you. Today, a number of our valued teachers impacting 8 individuals, received notification that their contracts with the La Conner School District for the 2023-2024 academic year will not be renewed or will be reduced. This required reduction in our workforce, known as a Reduction in Force (RIF), has real and significant impacts on the lives of our staff members, who possess amazing professional and personal skills. As someone who personally delivered these messages, I have witnessed firsthand the distressing impact of this decision.

We understand that these are challenging and stressful times for everyone involved, and we want to assure you that we are committed to providing assistance to our affected employees to ensure they have what they need during this time of transition. We deeply regret that this action was necessary, and it is not a decision that was taken lightly.

The primary reason for this reduction in our workforce is the significant reduction in revenue. The District had hoped that the resignations, leaves, and retirements at the end of the year would be sufficient to accommodate the downsizing required. However, the attrition rate this year was low, with only a few staff providing notice that they did not intend to return and our budgeting constraints require deeper cuts.

The determination of which certificated staff would be impacted was made based on certification/endorsement and seniority, in that order, as per the collective bargaining agreement with our teachers' union. We understand that this decision may have been difficult to comprehend for those affected. We want to assure you that we have taken this decision with great consideration, and in collaboration with our teachers’ union leadership.

In the coming weeks, we will be communicating reductions in our classified staff; we are working cooperatively with their union leadership to determine next steps. We sincerely regret the need to reduce our staff and are hopeful that over time, we may be able to offer opportunities for staff members who have been negatively impacted in this situation. We understand the importance of continuity and stability in our school community and are committed to supporting our students and families during this challenging time.

Please know that we remain dedicated to providing a high-quality education to our students and supporting the well-being of our school community. We appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate through these difficult circumstances.

Sincerely,

 

Will Nelson,
Superintendent