Concerned parent: Canfield cuts unprofessional, distracting

By Kristine Gill


More than 75 people attended Wednesday night’s board of education meeting to hear what board members and the superintendent had to say about 25 layoffs announced Friday.

Superintendent Dante Zambrini and Cheryl McGrath, Canfield Education Association president, met with the 14 teachers and 11 classified staff members Friday to notify them of the cuts in a manner one parent called unprofessional and distracting.

“Teachers were pulled out of class and went back to class very upset,” Michelle Whittenberger said.

Whittenberger is the mother of four students in the district and said her children have been coming home worried about various rumors regarding more cuts should school levies fail.

In May, voters will decide on two levies.

The first is a 1.6-mill emergency renewal levy that would continue to generate $890,000 annually. It was last renewed five years ago.

The second is a five-year, additional, 6.8-mill operating levy before voters that would generate $3.8 million annually.

McGrath said teachers were told they could take as much time as they needed before returning to class after those meetings and had the option of having someone else cover for them the rest of the day.

The cuts are: the district secretary, two part-time special- needs aides, the part-time athletic department secretary, the district printer, a lunch-room aide, a study-hall aide, four custodians, six elementary school teachers, 2.5 Canfield Village Middle School teachers and 5.5 high school teachers.

The fractions indicate part-time positions, McGrath said.

At the middle school, a part-time position was eliminated and at the high school a full-time position was reduced to part-time.

Zambrini said the positions could change as various teachers and staff announce their retirement or have last-minute job changes.

Staff cuts will save an estimated $1.2 million and will be permanent.

Zambrini also announced that busing for students at Canfield High School and Cardinal Mooney High School will be cut next school year to save money, regardless of the levies’ outcome.

The next board of education meeting will be March 16.

The board will have four public forums to address concerns about the levy. Meeting dates are:

March 14, at 7 p.m. in C.H. Campbell Elementary School gym.

March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Canfield High School cafeteria.

April 5, at 7 p.m. in the Canfield Village Middle School main gym.

April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Hilltop Elementary multi-purpose room.

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