Lawrence school district names director of secondary schools, position that was previously cut

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The Lawrence school district on Friday announced Waymond Ervin as the next director of secondary schools — a central administrative office position that was previously cut from the budget.

Ervin is currently in his fifth year as principal of Northeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri, according to the news release. He earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Houston and his master’s from Prairie View A&M University.

“I am extremely proud to be joining Lawrence Public Schools and being a part of a community that ensures that all students have the best choices and opportunities to be successful academically, socially, and emotionally,” Ervin said in the release. “I am most looking forward to serving the secondary school leaders and empowering them to continue along the trajectory to success.”

The central district administrative position was one that was cut as part of millions of dollars in staffing reductions the school board approved in spring of 2022. The cuts to administration amounted to $577,441 — about 9% of the $6.41 million in total cuts.

The district has also reinstated the position of director of elementary schools. Woodlawn Elementary Principal Jayci Roberson is transitioning into that role.

“From listening to the needs and concerns of principals, staff, and families; and continuous review of student achievement and behavioral data, it is evident that the pandemic negatively impacted student social-emotional and behavioral development,” according to a Wednesday news release from the district. “The board and administration understand the necessity to provide additional support to meet student needs and maintain environments conducive to learning.”

Additional budget cuts in 2023 ultimately led to the closure of two elementary schools and a reduction of 50 teaching staff positions. The district’s Futures Planning Committee had recommended cutting one district administrative position, which would save an estimate of about $128,000. Committee members voted 69% to 31% in favor of that recommendation; however, Superintendent Anthony Lewis told school board members that he would not recommend that cut. 

“I think this board hired me to run an efficient school district, but first and foremost, to be fiscally responsible with our resources and our facilities,” he told the board at the time.

“After a comprehensive look at the present budget and reflection on the board’s financial priorities, the district will reinstate both positions to support building principals in their role as instructional leaders,” according to the district’s release earlier this week. “In addition to 10 contingency teaching positions added in the fall to reduce class sizes, the district plans to create lead teacher positions based on the priority needs of elementary and middle school students. Dean of students positions will support staff in the consistent implementation of effective instruction, intervention, restorative practices, and student and family support and serve as professional learning opportunities for teachers interested in becoming administrators.”

Ervin’s position is effective July 1, pending school board approval. 

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Lawrence school district names director of secondary schools, position that was previously cut

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The Lawrence school district on Friday announced Waymond Ervin as the next director of secondary schools — a central administrative office position that was previously cut from the budget.

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