Shawnee Mission aides and paras to have work days reduced for 2016-17 in cost-cutting measure

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As classes came to an end last week, Shawnee Mission school principals delivered news to staff of a change for the coming year that was unwelcome to some.

A number of classified employees — including clerical aides, classroom aides and assistants, and paraprofessionals — will have the number of work days they’re contracted to perform reduced by seven for the 2016-17 school year.

District spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal said the reduction in work days would not have any impact on the amount of time the employees had in contact with students, and instead “have been modified to better align with the schedules of the students and teachers they support.”

The district needs the savings from the move, Neal said, to ensure it can attract high level candidates for other positions.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to address needs throughout the district, the intended goal will be to use a portion of the savings realized from these adjustments to address compensation associated with specifically identified classified positions,” Neal said. “This reinvestment will assist in the district’s efforts to retain and recruit quality candidates for the most difficult to fill positions.”

Shawnee Mission NEA head Linda Sieck said that teachers were negotiating their standard 187-day year for 2016-17, and that would not be affected by the change. (Paraprofessionals and aides are not part of the NEA bargaining unit).

The district provided the following list of job classifications that will be affected by the change next year and how many days each kind of employee will work:

  • 183-day calendar: Braillist, Campus Security Officer – non-commissioned, Coordinator of SM East SHARE Volunteer Program, Educational Aide, ELL Aide, Infant/Child Care Aide, Interpreter/Transliterator- Hearing Impaired, Job Coach, Paraprofessional, Pre-Kindergarten Educational Aide, Title I Educational Assistant
  • 193-day calendar: High School Clerical Aides
  • 208-day calendar: Elementary and Middle School Clerical Aides, Spanish Interpreter