By Jeff Waters
Suwannee County Schools will be 37 teachers short when classes resume Monday. Bill Brothers, district director of personnel, said that 41 jobs will be left unfilled from the 2007-08 school year. Thirty-seven of those are teaching positions.
Brothers said the positions were left open by retirements, resignations, non-renewed contracts and discontinued grants. The much celebrated Culinary Arts program at the Suwannee-Hamilton Technical center was cut due to a discontinued grant recently.
Brothers said the savings to the district will be about $2.1 million - almost exactly the amount by which the district's budget was cut by the state this year. That means the district isn't looking at cutting any other positions.
"I am confident that our current teachers and staff are most capable of rising to the challenge and will continue to meet the needs of all children," Brothers said in an e-mail interview. "It is impossible to lose 40 or so positions and not feel a huge void at the classroom level. We lost a lot of experienced teachers last year."
Brothers noted that the vacancies were "not equitably distributed throughout school sites and within job classifications." That meant that a number of teachers had to be reassigned to meet the needs of each school. Brothers said that 13 teachers were affected. Four teachers made voluntary requests to be transferred to other schools; an Exceptional Student Education teacher was reassigned to Branford Elementary School from Branford High School; three teachers went to Suwannee Middle School from Suwannee High School; three teachers were transferred from Branford High School, one to SMS and two to SHS. Five teachers were transferred from SMS to various elementary schools around the county and one teacher was reassigned to Suwannee Primary School from Suwannee-Hamilton Technical Center. In addition, a district administrator was reassigned to Suwannee Intermediate School.
Funding cuts mean vacant positions weren't filled
By Jeff Waters
- Branford News
- Flood warnings remain in effect
Rivers update: Health advisory issued
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued a health advisory for the Withlacoochee River and for the Suwannee River between Ellaville (near U.S. 90 where the Withlacoochee enters the Suwannee) and State Road 250 at Dowling Park. The advisory was issued after lab tests received on April 18 showed higher than normal levels of fecal coliform bacteria. The DOH urges residents who come in contact with the river water in these areas to to wash thoroughly, especially before eating and drinking.
Update: Major flooding expected at Three Rivers Estates along Santa Fe River
The NWS downgraded most Suwannee and Santa Fe forecasts, but Three Rivers is still expected to approach major flood stage this week. The White Springs forecast was reduced from moderate to minor flooding and Suwannee Springs is expected to crest below flood stage. Minor flooding is still expected at Ellaville, Luraville, and Wilcox. New flood stages for the Alapaha near Jennings are now available.
- North Florida Timber Disease and Pest Workshop starts Monday
- FWC activates idle-speed, no-wake restrictions on Suwannee River’s Zone 1
- Lives change at your library-Celebrate National Library Week April 13-19
Learn how to identify the trees in your backyard
The Sparkleberry Chapter meeting of the Florida Native Plant Society, will meet: 6:30pm, Tuesday, April 8th (the second Tuesday of the month), at Hatch Park in Branford (403 SE Craven St). Our guest speaker is Brian Cobble, Senior Suwannee County Forester with the Florida Forestry Service. Trees are the most conspicuous and best-known plants in man’s experience, join us and learn how to identify some of them.
DEP recognizes April as Water Conservation Month
~The Department recognizes April as a time for Floridians to implement water conservation strategies~
- New lawn and landscape irrigation measures are in effect
Suwannee River Paddling Festival this weekend
April 4-6 at Suwannee River State Park
- More Branford News Headlines