MUTUAL--The budget crisis happening at area schools prompted updates to the “reduction in force policy” during the most recent Sharon-Mutual Board of Education meeting.

Sharon-Mutual Superintendent Emma Sidders said the updates were made to “give our support staff more protection as far as a getting hired back in case we do have a reduction.”

Sidders went on to say that until now support staff was hired on a year-to-year basis, and they wanted to have a procedure put in place as far as a continuing contract.

Though the superintendent does not anticipate any reduction in force for the remainder of this school year, she said that next year, “may be another story.”

Numerous money-saving measures have been taken at the school including the decision to implement a four-day school week for this semester.  Sidders said the shorter school week has brought “some savings,” been beneficial in the attitude of both students and staff, and, she added, most of the parents have been in favor of it.

In addition to saving on overhead, transportation and utility costs, the superintendent said the four-day week has allotted for longer class-times and given students a day off for extracurricular activities.

The school district has already decided to continue the four-day school week next school year.

But as for other cost savings for next year’s budget, such as layoffs, Sidders said it’s still “up in the air,” and the district will continue to look at every area it can to save money.

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