USD 410 board OKs pay raise for classified staff, administrators

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ALEEN RATZLAFF
The board of Unified School District 410 approved raises Monday evening for its classified employees, principals and superintendent for the 2002-03 year.

The board voted 5-0 in favor of the salary increases. Board members Cal Jost and Eddie Weber were absent.

Returning classified employees will receive an average 4.01 percent increase, the same the board granted the teaching staff last week. That breaks down to increasing the defined benefit to $300 per month and providing a 3.5 percent salary increase.

The cost to the district will be $927,604.

While salaries for the district’s four principals-Pat Call ($57,581), Evan Yoder ($57,837), Dale Honeck ($63,901) and Max Heinrichs ($46,530)-will increase by 3.4 percent, they will also receive an increase in defined benefits, for a total package of 4.02 percent more than last year.

The board also approved a 3.4 percent increase for Joyce Loewen as half-time curriculum director. She also has a half-time teaching position.

Board president Doug Weinbrenner recommended, and the board agreed, to increase Superintendent Gordon Mohn’s salary by 3.4 percent.

The amount of Mohn’s salary was not disclosed at the meeting.

A public hearing was held-although no patrons attended the meeting-regarding an acceptable-use policy for information services for students and employees.

Information services is defined as any interaction between students or employees and the district’s computer network, which includes the Internet.

Mohn said to qualify for a discount rate for telephone carrier services, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, a federal law, requires that school districts develop such a policy, which must be adopted by July 1.

Clerk Jerry Hinerman said the discounts will the save about $12,000.

Information Services provides employees with e-mail that, according to policy, they can use for personal use, provided such use doesn’t violate the established agreement.

Parents and students will be required to sign the policy at enrollment, Mohn said, with the incentive being providing a login and password that will enable students to access the system.

For students from grades three through 12, the policy guidelines cover, among other things, appropriate computer use, and prohibitions against tampering with another student’s work or with the computer system, use of e-mail or chatlines.

This policy replaces agreements signed in the past, but “it doesn’t change very much the way we operate now,” Mohn said. “It puts it in formal language…. This mirrors the law.”

Enforcing the policy is up to building administrators and staff. Parents are notified if students access inappropriate Web sites-such as pornography or profanity-and students can be denied access to the Internet.

“We haven’t had much trouble,” Mohn said.

But Honeck added, “It’s becoming more of a problem.”

The board approved the policy 5-0.

In his report, Call said Prairie View, with 60 students and 25 staff, is using the elementary school facilities for six weeks of summer camp, including the fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms and the gym for activities.

Yoder, middle school principal, reported he has not found a sponsor for cheerleading.

“We have had trouble getting an adequate sponsor who can be there regularly,” Yoder said. “If we want to have middle school cheerleading next year, we need to beat the bushes to get a sponsor.”

High school principal Honeck said the site council is committed to bringing in a group of financial advisers who can engage high school students in learning “how to use money wisely and the importance of time in investing money.”

The group, STRIDE, is scheduled to meet with sophomores, juniors and seniors Nov. 14 at a cost of $2,500.

School teacher Eleanor Jost and Joyce Loewen, curriculum coordinator, presented the revised standards for the language arts curriculum guide, the second cycle of curriculum written by the communications subject area committee since the state’s adoption of Quality Performance Accreditation. These standards cover instruction for reading, writing and literature for kindergarten through grade 12.

The curriculum was available to the public for review and comment this past month at the public library.

The board adopted the curriculum by a 5-0 vote.

Loewen also presented requests for materials, including textbooks, software upgrades and supplies, and equipment for teaching science in all three buildings and technology in the middle and high schools, totaling about $55,600 and nearly $22,000, respectively.

The requests were recommended by the subject area committees.

She said the technology order included the first upgrades the district will have to pay for since contracts with suppliers were signed five years ago.

Mohn introduced health insurance to the meeting’s agenda.

“I try not to have surprises for you, but this is a surprise,” Mohn said.

He asked the board to authorize Weinbrenner to complete a document, due July 1, granting the district’s participation in a municipal pool, which includes other school districts in Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas, based in Hutchinson, that would provide USD 410 employees with a self-insured health pool for prescription drugs.

The board is considering this change and others because of the rising cost of health insurance with Blue Cross-Blue Shield.

Mohn said participation in the pool, provided it is approved by other districts, would likely keep health insurance rates down in the future.

The board approved the motion.

In other business, the board:

issued a contract to Carla Harmon to serve as district treasurer. She will replace Joyce Medley, who will retire in August.

issued a contract to Dustin Dalke as concession manager.

heard reports about the TEEN board by board member Brenda Enns and the Marion County Special Education Cooperative board by board member Debbie Geis.

heard from Mohn that funds estimated available as reserve for 2002-03 will total about $542,000, which includes about $222,000 in the general fund and about $320,000 in capital outlay.

went into executive session to consider matters of personnel.

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