Fifty-one layoff or redundancy notices were handed out to Simcoe County high school teachers on Thursday.

Some will have some form of a job for one more year, and others will be unemployed by the fall. Plus, 19 teachers are retiring and will leave their positions vacant.

The situation has prompted trustee and Simcoe County District School Board chair Jodi Lloyd to write a letter to the province on behalf of the board.

“It will be very difficult, particularly in small schools, but in all of our schools, to offer some of the programming that we have in the tech field, in the specialty course areas,” she said.

“We have legislation that does not allow any teacher to teach technology because of the safety risks. So those programs really cannot exist next year,” local union president Jen Hare said.

With fewer teachers, extra-curricular activities could also be impacted.

This is the first year of cuts, but school officials say similar numbers could continue for the next three years.

“It’s a big deal because we’re in a situation where we were just starting to grow and add contract teachers in the last couple years,” said Simcoe County School Board’s John Dance.

All along Premier Ford has insisted that no jobs will be lost because of bigger class sizes.

Ford is expected to make a funding announcement on Friday, which may see some of those teachers hired back.

“Once we get that information from the ministry we might be in a better position, but we do have obligations under collective agreements with dates and deadlines that we have to meet, so we are moving forward with this,” Lloyd said.

Teachers and board members are planning a rally in front of MPP Andrea Khanjin’s office in Barrie on Friday to protest the changes that have resulted in layoffs.