Incentives may help avoid RIFs in South Whidbey School District

The South Whidbey School District is working on an early notification system for teachers who leave their jobs.

District Superintendent Jo Moccia said she has worked with teachers union co-presidents Val Brown and Jan McNeely on an incentive program. They want to give teachers a reason to let them know as early as possible if they plan to leave South Whidbey.

That would allow the district to avoid preparing a reduction in force (RIF) list when staff cuts are necessary.

“We’re in the process of working out the details,” Brown said.

The incentive will likely be money, Moccia said.

“Without that early notice, we’re really at a disadvantage,” she said.

“Nobody wants quality personnel to leave, but nonetheless, they’re going.”

The goal is to have the early notification deadline be March 15.

Ideally, if one teacher lets the district know he or she is leaving South Whidbey, that allows the school district to keep a different teacher, sparing them from the RIF process.

“That’s one less person that has to undergo the emotional wear and tear of not knowing if they’ll have a job,” said Board Member Fred O’Neal.

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