Math Department Most Impacted by Recent Teacher Cuts


Benjamin Kutler

Head of the Math Department Angela Mosier teaches a section of her Honors Geometry class.

Westside High School is known as one of the only two high schools in the country with modular scheduling, which involves a customized schedule for each student. With cross-sectioning and open mods, it is difficult to make everyone’s schedule perfect. With the loss of many teachers prior to this school year, and the addition of more students to the school, scheduling has become more difficult. Rebecca Sosalla, the scheduler at Westside High School, said the effects include busier teacher schedules and more kids per classroom.

“We are trying to adapt and account for [the] needs of students while still trying to provide a variety of opportunities,” Sosalla said. “Having all of those variables in place makes it a challenge [to schedule].”

Principal Jay Opperman said that the teacher cuts have been affecting lots of the school and that the effects have been difficult.

 “Classes are bigger, so accessing your teacher might become a little more challenging because each teacher is working with more students,” Opperman said. “The stressfulness [of teachers and students] is hard to measure, but I think anytime you have people under stress I don’t know if they are always at their best.”

Opperman said that the Math Department has been impacted the most from the loss of teachers.

“Right now, Math is the department that I’m watching most closely,” Opperman said. “With the cuts we made it puts us with the average teacher on the higher end compared to other departments.”

Vicki Londer, head of the counseling department, said she agreed with Sosalla and Opperman on the effects of the cuts. Londer said that the teacher cuts have affected her department just as much as they are affecting the classrooms.

“We are not able to make schedule changes,” Londer said. “We just don’t have room to put kids.”

Londer said the students’ learning environment is also being affected by having bigger classes and less one-on-one time.

“We do have some classes that [are so] full kids are sitting on the floor,” Londer said. “The teacher cuts have definitely impacted what we can do and how much flexibility we can have with kids’ schedules.”

Westside Director of Communications and Engagement Brandi Paul said not being able to hire as many teachers because of the budget cuts are affecting the district as a whole.

“We’ve done everything we can to keep budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible,” Paul said. “But eventually, there is no more left to cut and you have to start digging into the heart of what our district is made of, and that’s our incredible educators.”

Paul said she hopes for the best for years to come.

“We are getting a little more money back than we anticipated,” Paul said. “We hope we don’t have to make [more] cuts like we did last year.”