Many Jordan School District Teachers Worried About Job Security
HERRIMAN, Utah — It’s only about ten years old, but already Herriman High School is packed.
That’s why Mountain Ridge High School is opening next year in Herriman.
“We were bursting at the seams with students at Herriman High School,” said Jordan School District spokesperson Sandy Riesgraf. “Very large class sizes. It’s uncomfortable. It’s a tough situation for everyone.”
Opening a new high school will relieve some of that pressure at Herriman High.
However, right now, that also brings a new kind of pressure for teachers.
“With the reduction in the number of students at Herriman High, there will be, we have to look at the possibility of the reduction in staff,” said Riesgraf.
Reduction in staff is a term no teacher wants to hear.
Especially when future teachers at the new high school will have to apply for those jobs.
There’s no guarantee teachers at the current high school will automatically be transferred to the new high school.
Teachers will have to apply.
“We want to try and find a place for every single one of them,” said Darrell Robinson, who is a school board member with the Jordan School District.
Robinson knows that uncertainty is making a lot of teachers worried.
“It is hard. We want every teacher to have a job. Especially with us,” said Robinson.
It’s not just Herriman High.
Four new schools, and a remodel, will be open next year in the Jordan District.
That means a lot of transferring, but again, there are no guarantees all teachers will get the opportunity to stay at their current schools or be offered a job at a new school.
So far, many teachers haven’t been notified if they get to stay in their current schools or not.
“The teachers that may be impacted, they will be notified personally by their principal,” said Riesgraf.
The district has been hosting teacher transfer fairs, to help look for new jobs, even with another district, if necessary.
The next transfer fair is March 28th.
With so much uncertainty, it’s easy to understand why so many teachers are worried.
“This is a stressful time and we recognize that,” said Riesgraf. “It’s stressful for teachers. They’ve worked at a place that they have been at for a long time that they’re part of the community and not knowing what the future holds sometimes, that’s stressful.”
Vicki Olsen, the Jordan Education Association President, which is basically the teacher union, said in a statement:
“One part of the Jordan Education Association mission is to advance the professional and economic well-being of our members. As part of that mission, JEA works to protect the rights of educators. JEA has been working with and will continue to work with Jordan District administration to improve the Reduction in Staff process. JEA believes the Reduction in Staff policy as written is unfair to current Jordan District educators in not guaranteeing a job when a teacher is reduced due to declining enrollment at their school. Educators who are members of JEA will receive support if they are forced into the RIS process. Currently, JEA is representing educators who are in the Reduction in Force process, per the current Jordan District policy.”