In the wake of several resignations and retirements around Dublin City Schools, the announcement of staffing cuts has been put on hold for a month.

In the wake of several resignations and retirements around Dublin City Schools, the announcement of staffing cuts has been put on hold for a month.

Superintendent David Axner initially wanted to let staff members know by the end of February whether they still would have a job next fall, but a flurry of retirements and resignations have pushed the announcement back.

"Initially, we looked at the end of February to try to notify staff that would possibly be reduced in regards to the cuts we are making," he told ThisWeek. "What has totally changed the landscape is, we are now nearly at 60 certified retirements and resignations."

As of ThisWeek's Feb. 28 press time, Axner said, the district had 53 retirements and resignations at the certified level and 22 at the classified level.

"It's the difference between reducing people and positions," Axner said.

Usually, the district sees no more than 25 teacher retirements each year. But the recent list of retirements and resignations means the district should be able to cut unfilled positions instead of staff members.

"We have an incredible veteran staff, and we hate to lose some of these people, but they're making personal decisions that just saved another teacher," Axner said.

Staffing cuts are expected to be announced during the March 26 board meeting.

"We have a lot of work to be done in what positions can be cut," Axner said, adding that many staff members have dual certifications and could be moved where they're needed.

The staff reductions come as the district is working to reduce its budget by $7.1 million over the next two years following the failure of a 7.2-mill operating levy and $25-million bond issue last fall.

The district thus far has announced three rounds of cuts in the past two months.

Starting in January, Axner announced a plan to increase class sizes at the elementary level, more group bus stops at the high school level and restructured technology support throughout the district.

The first phase also included a plan to reduce the high school day by one period and to allow high school students an opportunity for a physical education waiver if the student participates in two semesters of a sport or marching band.

The second phase of cuts would reduce staff at the central office over the next two years, saving the district about $1.9 million.

The third phase, announced last month, amounts to about $778,000 in cuts and includes supplemental contract modifications, changes to summer school, fewer field trips and busing modifications.

About $1.5 million in savings through operational efficiencies also has been outlined, in addition to block scheduling at the middle school, focusing on National Common Core Standards, and saving money through changes in staffing.

Discussions on a possible levy in the fall could come later this month or in early April, Axner said.