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Sylvania teachers and families rally to save jobs this fall

A sea of red wearing concerned teachers, parents, students, and Sylvania Schools staff filled the parking lot and front lawn of the districts administration building , following the news of layoffs and reassignments of instructors.
Published: Aug. 22, 2020 at 11:57 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) -The Sylvania School Board of Education wrapped up a private executive session detailing what teachers believe was a response to issuing cuts and reassignments to educators this fall.

Board members who entered the meeting were greeted by the sight of concerned parents, teachers, and staff who were outside of the administrative building rallying behind the message, “Sylvania deserves better.”

“I was just ecstatic to start the year. and I am so incredibly devastated to have my position eliminated,” said Elayna Levison.

Levison is an intervention specialist instructor working with special education at the elementary and middle school grade levels.

Levison was just days away from beginning her first full year of teaching with Sylvania Schools when on Friday night she was notified that her elementary education position was terminated.

“So I got the call while I was at my middle school working saying your position at the elementary has been eliminated. there may be opportunities for you to trach remotely, we don’t know yet. and that’s where we’re at,” said Levison.

Levison is not alone.

According to a Facebook post circulated by concerned Sylvania parents and instructors, other teachers are announcing similar news.

According to the president of the Sylvania Education Association Dan Greenberg, not only are other teachers reporting layoffs, but some are getting reassigned just days before a new school year.

Greenberg explains that some teachers have been told to move to completely online instruction or different classes entirely.

Greenberg believes the district’s actions come at a suspiring time with many teachers already prepared for the fall semester.

“The school year has technically already started. our school year for teachers started a week ago, and teachers are doing the work and trying to serve our students, and now we are finding ourselves unceremoniously moved to new places,” said Greenberg.

The reaction to the news of possible layoffs and reassignments lead to a community rally in support of Sylvania teachers and staff.

“I’m here for my kids and I’m here for these teachers, and I’m here to say what’s going on is wrong.. it’s really unfortunate,” said Levison.

Dozens of community members filled the Sylvania Administration building parking lot and front lawn.

Members of the rally wore red in solidarity and support for teachers.

The rally took place all before a private executive district board of education meeting to discuss further plans for the upcoming school year.

The group explains that they hope their actions can inspire the district to realize no teacher should have to be cut from their classroom, days before their students arrive.

“It’s sad. I’m just so passionate about my job and this is my life. I love my job and my kids. and to take me out of that, just to eliminate my position like that with no warning... it’s just I’m devastated. I’m just really really sad,” said Levison.

The Sylvania Schools Board of Education meeting was closed to the public and was under executive session the entire time.

Teachers and staff are hoping the district reconsiders.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 24th

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