Parents, students talk about Charles City Community Schools staff cuts

[anvplayer video=”5152590″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – The Charles City community is still dealing with some anxiety Tuesday after the Charles City Schools Board of Education discussed upcoming staffing cuts Monday night. Charles City Community Schools is short around $750,000 and down more than 60 students.

The board ended up postponing a vote to determine how to make up the money until late January. Here are some of the options they discussed.

  • Cut two music teachers
  • Cut one music teacher and one English teacher at the high school
  • Cut one music teacher and the assistant principal at the high school

Alumni and parent Jessica Hoeft says her time in the school band taught her to be a lifelong lover of music. She’s worried that less investment in music will negatively affect her kid’s mental health.

“I would go home and I would play from the time I got off school all the way to bed time. Nonstop. I wouldn’t put it down. But knowing if it’s gone then I know my kids don’t have that family there to help them through things,” she said.

Kaydn Sorenson says choir gave him the motivation to get up out of bed every day.

RELATED: Charles City Board of Education votes to table proposed job cuts

Sorenson says his music teacher supported him more than any of his other Charles City High teachers ever did.

“They will not give up on you. No matter what they are here to fight for you. I would go there at like seven o’clock in the morning. I don’t get up at seven o’clock in the morning, but I would do it just because I wanted to go to choir,” he said.

Both Jessica and Kaydn were worried the district would be shrinking the Rise program – a group dedicated to mentoring at-risk students.

But Superintendent Anne Lundquist says the Rise program will provide services just as they always have. The district is considering cutting one Rise staff member and distributing their work among the other 10 Rise staff.

RELATED: Charles City Community School District faces job cuts

“Absolutely the Rise program has never been, nor will it ever be, on the chopping block so to speak,” Lundquist confirmed.

Lundquist says at the next board meeting there will likely be some changes to staffing cut options based on the community feedback from Monday.

“I think that it’s probably a pretty normal blip in the system,” she said, referring to the drop in enrollment. “I think that the board was wise to step back and slow down in response to their constituents.”

The superintendent says she hopes the board will have a decision by early February if not late January.