CROWLEY -- Unlike other school districts that are anticipating widespread teacher layoffs, Crowley Superintendent Dan Powell said, his district will be able to avoid a large cutback in its teaching ranks because of employees who have agreed to resign or retire.
On Thursday night, the Crowley school board had to terminate only the contracts of two first-year teachers -- an elementary music teacher and a high school social studies instructor -- as part of a reduction in force.
A fifth-grade teacher is being let go for performance issues.
Four teachers who expected to be laid off were placed in other classrooms, and the librarians the district expected to let go -- all of whom are certified to teach -- were offered other positions, Powell said.
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The district originally expected to eliminate 7.5 teaching jobs for the 2011-12 school year. It also expects to lay off 12 nurses.
"Because a number of individuals have stepped up -- without any sort of a bounty -- and let us know they have decided to resign or retire, all but four of the teachers who have been RIF'ed have been placed in other positions," Powell said.
Also Thursday, trustees tweaked the student dress code as well as fees, fines and dues for the 2011-12 school year.
Students will now be allowed to wear tops and pants or skirts that are the same color, a change from the current code. Most of the discussion centered on shoes, however, and trustees agreed to let students wear the formerly forbidden high heels and Ugg boots, but they are not recommended.
"I worry about high heels on the stairs at the high schools," Trustee Deborah Alenius said. "I'm concerned about the safety issue."
Board member Mary Harris was concerned about enforcement.
"If we're going to have this dress code, everyone needs to be enforcing it," she said.
Student fees were left alone for the most part, though trustees did remove a $30 fee for National Honor Society induction, which Alenius said was charging students for being successful.
In other business, the board adopted a resolution to waive the three workdays lost by hourly and paraprofessional employees during bad weather in February and to pay them.
Their wages have already been budgeted, but it is up to each board and each district whether to have them make up the days or simply be paid for time they could not work. The district recently received a three-day waiver for missed instructional days from the state for professional staff.
The district will have to bear the full cost of the May 14 trustee election, which is $17,500, since the city has no election of its own.
Trustees Randall Kahan and Melva Bazan are up for re-election, and each has a challenger. Kahan is opposed by Mark Thrash and Bazan by Heather Bright.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657