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Highland Jr. High Takes Brunt of Ogden School District Layoffs


Seventeen teachers in the Ogden School District were told not to come back to work next fall.  Many were surprised to learn one Jr. High School took the brunt of the layoffs. 

Six teachers at Highland Jr. High School will now have to find a new job. 

Ogden School District Spokesman Zach Williams says the school isn’t keeping pace with the progress other schools are making, adding the district is in the process of implementing a school improvement program.

“So there is a renewed focus on increasing the standard of instruction at that school,” Williams says. “And it’s very unfortunate because it is a disruption to the lives of these new probationary teachers that they aren’t asked back next year. 

Every spring, many new teachers in Utah won’t have their contracts renewed because they’re in a sort of three-year trial period—what is referred to in the state as provisional status. During this period, school districts are not required to tell teachers why they’ve been let go, but they typically say non-renewals are related to performance issues, or some teachers just aren’t the right fit. 

Matt Ogle is director of Ogden UniServ, a chapter of the Utah Education Association. He says some of these teachers had performance issues and others did not. Regardless he says teachers deserve to know why they’ve lost their job.

“I think it would be beneficial to teachers, because teachers are life-long learners if they have some area that they need to work on I think tis’ good practice to give them that information so they can improve on their skill,” Ogle says.

Ogden District Spokesman Zach Williams says all six teachers will be replaced. He adds the decision is not budget-related. 

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