Bronx schools to experience high turnover ratio

Lehman High School, is one of the four Bronx schools which will undergo a major re-staffing.
File Photo

Four Bronx schools will be replacing a significant portion of its staffs for the upcoming school year as part of a major overhaul.

According to the NYC Department of Education, the ‘out of time’ schools will retain only a percentage of its teaching and non-teaching staff for the 2016-17 school year.

The failing schools, Lehman High School, Junior High School 80, Banana Kelly High School and Fordham Leadership Academy, were each targeted for improvement through the School Renewal Program.

Lehman High School, will has the largest number of non-returning staff, with 32 of 87 positions not being invited back.

Junior High School 80 will retain just 26 of its 42 positions.

In total, the schools will replace 193 positions.

The non-retained staff will be eligible to apply to other public schools in the city.

Some teachers will be reassigned to other schools through a centrally funded excessed teacher program at the start of next school year in September.

“I don’t know if (Lehman High School) can afford to lose that many staff members,” said Martin Prince, chairman of Community Board 10, who said that he had not been informed of these changes. “This is concerning – especially considering the fact that the new school year is just around the corner.”

Some parents are concerned with the possibility of staff shortages at the beginning of the next school term, but Councilman Rafael, a member of the City Council’s Education Committee and former district manager of Community Board 2, said that his office has been in contact with the DOE on this issue.

He said that he does not believe the schools will be understaffed, to his knowledge.

“The DOE allows for principals to make their own hiring decisions and funding for hiring is based on enrollment, so it is possible that all positions are not refilled, or alternatively, that a school may add new positions,” said Salamanca.

“I am focused on ensuring that all of our schools have the tools needed to be successful, and that includes keeping a finger on the pulse of the individual schools in my district and their specific needs – and Banana Kelly High School is no exception,” the councilman said.

“There is no doubt that we need to retain good teachers, because that is what is most beneficial for our kids and their ability to learn,” Salamanca added.

“As we work tirelessly to turn these schools around and serve the students, we must have the right leaders, the right teachers and the right school staff in place,” said Carmen Farina, NYC Schools Chancellor.

“We are working closely with each of these schools around their hiring process and providing them with unprecedented supports including extended learning time, incentives to bring in qualified and experienced teacher leaders, social services and rigorous targeted teacher training.

“We will continue to support these schools while still holding them accountable – all options are on the table to improve student outcomes,” Farina added.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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