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Posted on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

Ypsilanti and Willow Run teachers to be notified of job status Friday

By Katrease Stafford

Ypsilanti Public Schools and Willow Run Community Schools teachers will be notified Friday whether they will be offered positions in the consolidated district, Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel confirmed.

"It's very difficult," Menzel said. "It's emotionally draining for everyone involved. It's a product of having to make some very difficult decisions in order to address financial issues within both districts.


Teachers, teacher consultants and special education teachers within the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts will be given notification whether they will be offered a position within the new district. file photo

"We've got to start the new district with appropriate staff to provide a high-quality education. That's the balancing act and it makes it very difficult. There are many high quality teachers that invested a lot and while we're hoping to retain a fair level, there will be many that receive letters that say they won't be coming back in the fall."

Menzel said about 330 internal candidates applied for jobs, but he isn't sure how many positions will actually be filled. The names of the applicants who receive job offers, as well as those who do not, will not be released to the public.

Menzel said teachers, teacher consultants and special education teachers will be given letters at the end of the school day on Friday. Menzel didn't immediately have information regarding how many staff members currently work in the districts.

Menzel said the employees will receive one of the three following letters:

  • A letter stating the employee met the criterion and will be offered a position.
  • A letter stating the employee met the criterion, but the district does not yet know if a position will be available to them.
  • A letter informing the employee no job will be offered.

Teachers received layoff notices on April 12, which become effective June 30.

Menzel said a press conference will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 3 at the Ypsilanti Public Schools Administration Building at 1885 Packard Road. More information will be given at that time regarding how the decisions were made and the number of teachers who will be offered a position.

Menzel said officials also will discuss what support is available for individuals who aren't offered a position.

At a Feb. 28 meeting, Naomi Norman, WISD Director of Achievement Initiatives, said an employee assistance program was going to be put in place to help current employees who are not selected, to transition elsewhere. Norman said at the time that employees will be given career counseling and social-emotional supports.

Menzel said information will be provided for staff to help them prepare their resumes and find where jobs are posted in other areas, as well. Menzel said whenever there are "significant" layoff notices given, the experience can be traumatic for employees. He said a team has been meeting regularly to have the support system in place by Friday.

At that same meeting, Norman said external applicants will not be considered until the beginning of May and after the decisions have been made for internal candidates.

Menzel said he does not yet know at this point if any external applications will be accepted.

"Our commitment to the staff was that we would go through the internal applications first," Menzel said. "If we didn't fill all of the positions, then we would post externally."

High Quality Teachers and Teaching Selection Committees were put together, most consisting of an administrator, two teachers and in some cases, a parent conducted classroom visits and interviews March 18 through April 22, following a specific rubric.

Menzel said the decisions were made based off of the classroom visits, references, discipline records, valuations indicating whether the teacher was effective or minimally effective, as well as number of absences and other indicators as well.

Menzel said, while he knows the community may be inclined to offer support to those who did not receive a job offer, he urged everyone to be mindful of how delicate the situation is.

"Well-intentioned people could be really key or complicate the situation," Menzel said. "We have school on Monday, May 6 and we need teachers in the classroom. This transition is not easy and it's going to take everyone involved to help."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Wed, May 1, 2013 : 4:11 a.m.

Shouldn't Menzel, the top head of the three headed monster, know how many people will be hired? Supposedly, based on past articles, they have hired consultants who have told them the number of students to expect. While I think those numbers were pulled out of the keisters, if those are the numbers they are using, Menzel should know the exact number of teachers needed to be hired in order to have enough teaching staff. "Menzel said he does not yet know at this point if any external applications will be accepted." This "I don't know" stuf is getting really scary as we approach the July 1 deadline. Maybe it is time for them to actually know what is going on instead of making it up as they go?


Wed, May 1, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

My guess is that they do know the answers, but are not sharing them for some reason.


Wed, May 1, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

"It's very difficult," Menzel said. "It's emotionally draining for everyone involved. It's a product of having to make some very difficult decisions in order to address financial issues within both districts." Your darn right it is difficult. The public sector has to do it on a daily basis. We don't get to add a fee to something or hide a tax somewhere to pay for things.


Wed, May 1, 2013 : 1:18 a.m.

Guess what? Whether or not you get a job? You get 26 weeks of unemployment. Period. That is what happened to those who did not get offered a job at transportation. So look on the bright side, you won't be stressed out at the holidays. Get to do things you have always wanted to do. Then three months later? Time to find a job. Most will end up buying out tenure and retire. Good luck to those who are waiting. As for special ed? I do know out of 350 jobs? Only 300 will be offered.


Wed, May 1, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

Is the irony intended?

Dan r OBryan

Wed, May 1, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

twenty weeks ,not 26 weeks ,then unemployment extensions with a 10 percent reduction

Usual Suspect

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

This will be interesting. If you find out you will not be coming back, what will your focus be during the remaining weeks of school - teaching, or looking for a job? And can you blame someone if looking for a job becomes a preoccupation? All of a sudden providing for one's family will become much more important than the classroom, and understandably so. I have heard from one teacher that sick time may or may not be carried over. If it's not, then get ready for a lot of teachers calling in sick for the rest of the year starting Monday.


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Willow Run , can you say Class Action Law Suit.


Wed, May 1, 2013 : 4:08 a.m.

Are they going to sue themselves for voting for this?


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

Just curious .... what happens to existing union contracts with seniority clauses, etc., in this situation? Are they declared completely null and void and everyone starts out "on equal footing"?


Wed, May 1, 2013 : 4:05 a.m.

What happens to people who are promised thousands of dollars by shool board members with no way to pay for it? Probably the same thing that happens to those who invest in ponzi schemes. Keep voting Democrat so they can give your money to illegals and others who "need" it more than you do.

Usual Suspect

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Aimee is right, according to what I've been told. Basically, everybody's existing employer (school district) will cease to exist. They will be hired by a new school district. So it will be as if they moved to another town. Unless negotiated otherwise, they will start anew with seniority and step increases. The latter will mean the loss of tens of thousands of dollars annually for some teachers.


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

The tenure reform laws from 2011 change how seniority can be used in making employment decisions - it can be used to determine a tiebreaker, so to speak, but it is not how it used to be. Plus, with neither school district existing past June 30, any clauses would not be taken into consideration.


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 9:54 a.m.

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 9:55 a.m.

(or in this case be in the students' favor)

Dan r OBryan

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.

well willow run teachers i wouldn't expect much in your letters Friday. this has been a Ypsilanti take over long before the vote ballots were even counted

Gretchen Ridenour

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 11:35 a.m.

Really? You read this in the article above? Let's keep the focus on providing the best education for all our students, not politics. Enough already of the negativity.