Teacher placed on partial leave after low enrollment

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

An Austin High School teacher is being placed on a partial unrequested leave of absence due to low enrollment in the classes he teaches.

The leave means career and technical education teacher Craig Knipple will be reduced from a full-time position to a 0.6 full time equivalent, effective at the end of the 2014-2015 school year on June 3.

The change is due to low enrollment in the classes he teaches, not performance, according to the board.

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“This has nothing to do with Craig’s performance,” Superintendent David Krenz said during the meeting. “This is strictly an enrollment situation. As with all high schools, we ask the students to enroll in courses for the next school year, and the number of sections that students are taking and the courses that Craig is able to teach are down, and this is because of that. It’s not because of performance.”

The school board members gave a quiet, unanimous approval to the motion. Board member Richard Lees was visibly disheartened by the motion.

“He does an excellent job,” Lees said during the meeting.

“Yes, he does,” Krenz agreed.

Krenz said the low enrollment could be due to the lack of time and elective choices, because there are many required classes for students.

“It sometimes is forgotten that there is more to a child than math, science and literature,” he said.

Knipple is also the advisor for the Austin High School Packer Rocket Team, which started this school year.