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Hamilton public school closures to axe 30 jobs

All-day kindergarten helps offset losses

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board will cut 30 jobs as a direct result of closing Hill Park, Parkview and Prince Philip at the end of June.

A school-based staffing report presented to trustees last week also projects that the board will require 40 fewer high school teachers this fall as a result of a continuing decline in enrolment.

The job losses will be partially offset by the hiring of the equivalent of nearly 15 full-time elementary school teachers and 40 more early childhood educators as part of the fifth and final year of rolling out all-day kindergarten to all primary schools.

The board projects it will gain 146.5 students at the elementary level while losing 207 at high schools due to closures and fewer students opting for a second year of Grade 12, the so-called “victory lap.”

“These are preliminary numbers based on a snapshot in time,” education director John Malloy said, adding actual enrolment could change the staffing levels, other than those directly tied to school closures.

Pat Rocco, superintendent of human resources, said he’s hopeful retirements and other departures will help avoid layoffs.

The school closures will cut five principal/vice-principal positions, 12.5 administrative staff and 12.5 custodians, he said.

Overall, the board forecasts there will be 1,982 elementary teachers, 1,078 secondary teachers, 579 educational assistants and 180 early childhood educators next year.

There will also be 168 principals/vice principals, 208 school administrators and 383.25 custodians for a total of 4,578.45 employees. That’s down by 15.3 jobs from this school year.

The board is planning for 30,961 elementary and 15,791 secondary students to be attending its schools this fall.

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