Templeton schools mull restructuring

The Templeton Unified School District Board of Trustees on Thursday delayed a decision on whether to cut one administrative position, a move that could force the district to reconfigure its elementary and middle schools.

The board will come up with new strategies that do not involve reorganizing schools because of the impact it would have on students’ and parents’ needs, trustees decided Thursday.

The trustees’ new plan is still to have one fewer administrator, but to assign one principal to each of the district’s one middle and two elementary schools after teaching and nonteaching staff makes candidate recommendations. The plan would not affect Templeton High School.

The trustees have not decided which administration position would be cut, but they said it will not be that of a principal.

Having one fewer administrator will save the district about $100,000 per school year, school district officials estimate.

“We can do this (save money) without reconfiguring the campuses,” Superintendent Deborah Bowers said. “People in the community have suggested reconfiguring the schools sites, but with the shift of an administrator, (there) may also be the shift of kids.”

The district has two elementary schools, Templeton Elementary and Vineyard Elementary. Vineyard Elementary has an interim principal who is leaving the district at the end of the school year.

The board originally had nine reconfiguration options, but it only discussed three Thursday:

The discussion came as districts throughout San Luis Obispo County deal with declining enrollment and cuts in state funding.

Bowers said in February that the district laid off 33 teachers last year, but it was able to hire 29 back using federal stimulus funds.

A decision is expected to be made at the board’s meeting on April 22.