Safier cuts teachers at the high school

Expo art by Rachel Nearis

Jenna Taormina

Expo art by Rachel Nearis

JENNA TAORMINA, Staff Writer

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School Superintendent Richard Safier cut seven staff positions at Gloucester High School this week, in a move that shocked teachers, and students.

Safier cut one teacher each from the English, Science, Math, History, and Business departments, one Guidance Counselor, and the Technology Integration Specialist.

Staff members were notified by email on Sunday night that their positions would not be renewed due to budget constraints for the FY16 fiscal year.

The cuts came as a surprise to the academic department heads, who had no prior knowledge of the reductions in force.

“There were three social studies electives with six or less kids this year,” said GHS Principal Erik Anderson.  “Given the situation, my supervisors look at elective numbers that small, and look at me and wonder how we can justify it. It’s hard to say we can given the circumstances.”

There is no definitive word on what this means for students at the high school in terms of class sizes or course offerings for next year.

According to Principal Anderson, who called the cuts a “brutal reality”, at least one anticipated Advanced Placement course offering may not run.

“Class sizes will increase slightly,” said Anderson.  “We’re doing everything we can to maintain smaller CP2 classes.”

Anderson also said they did not cut band or photography and “we made the decision to preserve those electives since they provide such an important opportunity for kids.”

No teachers volunteered to go on record with The Gillnetter regarding Safier’s decision.

*editor’s note: this story has been edited from its original version

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