Math, WL Teacher Cuts Expected in 2023-24

Garfield is planning to eliminate one teaching position apiece in Math and World Languages in 2023-24, Principal Tarance Hart told the April 18 meeting of the PTSA Board. GHS is projected to have steady enrollment, but is losing some staffing because the District is wrestling with a $131 million shortfall next school year.

Also at the meeting, Dr. Hart expanded on issues raised in his April 18 email to families and the PTSA Board discussed how it might be able to adjust its spending to soften the impact of 2023-24 budget cuts.

  • The Principal said that the amount of vaping at Garfield is no different from other schools, but that it and excessive classroom phone use required a stronger response by the administration. Students who violate policies will face penalties that include attendance at special classes.

  • The main entrance’s buzzer system now keeps doors locked except for the start of the school day and passing periods. “We have to figure some things out, but we have the system in place,” Dr. Hart said. “Our main building is more secure than two weeks ago.”

  • Dr. Hart is especially concerned about the 2023-24 expiration of pandemic-inspired waivers of certain graduation requirements. He wants GHS to have a clear plan for each student in danger of not graduating. Further discussion focused on strategies to better engage families, and possibly using volunteers to meet with students. Families and students can contact the counseling staff with any questions.
    PTSA Board members suggested that PTSA funding might be available to boost tutoring or other school efforts to keep students on track. While fundraising by the school and the PTSA could raise issues of equity across the District’s high schools, Dr. Hart noted the potential impact of grantseeking and creation of a Garfield-dedicated foundation (following some other SPS schools).

In other PTSA business:

  • Co-Treasurer Mary Murray reported on PTSA financials, and said that she is reviewing how the school is using the PTSA’s planned budget lines for Library Assistant, Athletic Trainer and Outreach Support. Also, volunteers needed: a 2023-24 Co-Treasurer and 2-3 people for a Budget Committee that will meet this spring. Contact Mary for information.

  • The Annual Fund has now reached about $126,000, but is still short of the $140,000 goal.

  • The Building Leadership Team has approved more Small Grants (up to $300) funded by the PTSA, including allocations for: 
    • Chess sets to be used in the classroom of Academic Intervention Specialist Jamie Rees and
    • Guest speaker – a psychologist – in the Psychology course taught by Al Snyder.

Sara Dickerman, a PTSA representative on the BLT, noted that it is seeking community engagement ideas to help with the work on the Continuous School Improvement Plan. The PTSA also is seeking one more rep for 2023-24.  Contact us with questions or ideas.

  • Grad Night ticket sales have begun! Learn more about the “safe and sober” party to which all seniors are invited after Graduation on June 26. More info.

  • Staff Appreciation Week will be May 8-12, and PTSA lead Jennifer Marquardt will be seeking volunteers. The hope is that families will be permitted to provide food donations. A coffee cart day and a luncheon are among the planned activities. PTSA also will plan a June appreciation activity or event. Contact us to help!

  • The Spring Fundraiser is selling tickets, and still accepting last-minute donations for the auction, which will open online on April 22. More info.

  • PTSA is seeking 2023-24 Officers and other roles, but a formal Nominating Committee still needs to be established. A recruiting letter will be sent in the next few days. More info.