NORFOLK — The following is a statement from King Philip Regional School District Superintendent Paul Zinni:
“The COVID-19 public health crisis has been difficult for every student, staff member and family in our district. We were forced to adapt to an ever-changing situation and endure a great deal of uncertainty while trying to maintain a continuity of education across our schools.
“That uncertainty will continue through the summer and beyond, and none of us can predict what the future holds. This uncertainty not only affected the way we taught our students through remote learning over the course of the final months of the school year, but also the financial health of our district. In particular, we do not know to what extent the state funding we rely on, in particular Chapter 70 and circuit breaker money, will be available.
“Throughout this time we have worked extremely hard to find ways to retain all of our staff members. However, we are not immune to the financial ramifications of this pandemic. As a result, we have decided to lay off 36 educators at the King Philip Regional School District for the 2020-2021 school year. We will additionally be providing updates about this situation to all stakeholders.
“This has been an unprecedented year for everyone in our district, from students and their families to all of the educators who worked to make remote learning run as smoothly as possible. The decision to lay off these educators was not one we made lightly, but we cannot ignore the heavy financial burden this pandemic has caused. It is our hope we will be able to have as many of these educators return to our district as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I would like to thank each and every one of them for all of their hard work and dedication toward the students of the King Philip Regional School District.”