The Aberdeen School District is preparing multiple plans for the upcoming school year in attempts to address not only a negative budget but the uncertainty of pandemic-planning. Superintendent Alicia Henderson said in this week’s update that the board approved a reduced education plan at their Tuesday meeting, which will impact more than 50 staff members.

She said the district will work hard to continue to deliver state-funded programs of basic education of the prototypical model with very few exceptions: K-8 counselors, special education, English language learners, and music. But Henderson warned that reductions will be noticeable in the career and technical program, elementary music and the orchestra. Non-renewal of provisional contracts also impacted the culinary arts program at the high school and the orchestra program.

Harbor High School will become a “school within a school.” The four remaining teachers there will also teach classes at Aberdeen High School, and the Harbor High principal will also serve as Athletic Director.

Henderson said the district is developing a budget for three scenarios: Distance Learning, a hybrid of Distance Learning that allows for modified return to school buildings, and a return to the traditional model. She added that “It is not likely that we will return to “normal” in the fall.”

The district will have more information about state funding in June, but by law, contracts must be offered to teachers by May 15. At its meeting on Tuesday, the Aberdeen School Board adopted the Certificated Staffing and Administrative Staffing lists for 2020-2021 which includes a further reduction of 5.2 FTE in teaching staff. There were four teachers who did not have a credential that fit any of the available openings and four teachers who have been offered reduced contracts. Building administration is reduced 2.7 FTE. These combined reductions total $1 million, bringing to the total to $4.2 million.

“In the coming weeks,” Henderson concluded the update, “we still need to identify additional reductions of more than $2 million. This will impact our classified staff the hardest.”