USD 410 board cuts three positions

The unanticipated decrease of 52 students this fall and declining funding resulted in USD 410 Board of Education?s vote to cut three employee positions at its regular meeting Monday evening.

The board first voted 6-0 to eliminate the activities director position, effective at the close of the current contract year.

The board?s second vote eliminated two district office positions?the administrative position, effective Dec. 20, and the mechanic position that had not been filled since the retirement of John McMinn, Oct. 30.

?I’d like to start the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, knowing every position affects kids learning,? Superintendent Steve Noble told board members before they discussed the proposed cuts.

The focus of the decisions, Noble added, are positions?not the persons.

As activities director, Robert Rempel oversees all reservations for facility use, whether that be extra-curricular activities or public use.

The change will affect the quality of customer service, organization and social media updates, Noble said.

?It will be a big challenge,? he said about covering the responsibilities.

Noble said USD 410 has been fortunate to have had an activities director.

?What I’m asking is not uncommon,? he said. ?Almost all schools our size will have a part-time AD.?

He told the board the middle school principal will take on the primary responsibilities for the position.

Clerk Jerry Hinerman reported costs of the position, including salary and benefits is $64,500.

Some expenses, though, will be incurred with the changes, Noble said, adding that the board?s decision to cut positions sets ?the stage for fine-tuning our duties.?

In his superintendent report, Noble said he is working on the concept of USD 410 operating with a grades six-to-12 facility, which means eliminating a building number at the state level.

?This greatly reduces the number of reports and administrative tasks that must be done for the state,? he said. ?The closing of Hillsboro Middle School is figurative only. Literally, we will continue to operate that school just as we always have with a focus on maintaining the middle school environment and philosophy.

?Our efforts to ?close the building? is essentially closing administrative tasks associated with two distinctly separate facilities.?

He said the change would result in no negative financial implications because funding depends on the number of students and income levels, not the number of buildings.

With the board?s approval, Noble said, he will continue working on this concept and will bring a recommendation to the December board meeting.

In other business, the board:

? approved financial auditor’s report, presented by Donna Fadenrecht of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd LLC.

? certified board member Chad Nowak as the district?s delegate to the Kan?sas Association of School Board meeting Dec. 8. Decisions will be made regarding KASB?s support of assessment standards and policies including teacher negotiations and due process for tenured teachers.

Noble said those policies would ?strengthen board and administrator management flexibility while maintaining core employee rights.?

? approved a five-year renewal of the ESSDACK Interlocal Agreement.

? approved the lone bid from Hillsboro State Bank for USD 410?s operational funds.

? met in executive session for 30 minutes for personnel. Following the session, work agreements were approved for Annette Nienstedt as bus driver and a schedule adjustment of 10 hours per week as shop and vehicle attendant.

Board member Joe Sechrist was absent from the meeting.

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