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Mount Pleasant Schools Cut Five Aide Positions

THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Mount Pleasant Schools Superintendent Susan Guiney called the moment bittersweet as the school district learned that it would need to eliminate five district aide positions, as opposed to the originally announced 10 aides.

“It’s great that we were able to keep five aides with us,” Guiney said. “But that means that we still have to say goodbye to five aides, and we don’t want to say goodbye to anyone.”

In March, the Mount Pleasant Central School District said 10 aides would lose their jobs in order to stay under the 2 percent tax levy cap. On Tuesday, Guiney said the district studied the enrollment of special needs students and determined that it would be able to keep five aides to work with those students.

Guiney said one aide resigned after finding another job, and four were notified Friday that they would be laid off. Guiney said the special needs students come from other districts which pay tuition to offset the costs of the students’ teachers and aides.

Guiney said that several factors were considered when deciding which aides to let go and that seniority was not the main factor.

“We let go of a few aides who have been here quite a long time, but maybe they weren’t as flexible as others in terms of their abilities,” Guiney said. “We looked at how well people work with others, and we wanted people that would be a really good fit for our growth going forward.”

Originally, the district planned to let go of seven aides in Hawthorne Elementary School, two in Columbus Elementary School and one in Westlake High School. All five aides who lost their jobs are in Hawthorne Elementary School.

Guiney said the five aides who were retained will remain at their schools and will receive any additional help they may need to work with the special needs students.

“A lot of the aides are very familiar with all of the students in their building,” Guiney said. “And they will work very closely with the teacher in the classroom and if necessary we will send them out for some professional support.

For the aides who were not retained, Guiney said the district is currently working with Westchester County CSEA to ensure that their responsibilities are properly passed on to remaining employees in the district.

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