At its August meeting the USD 410 board of education recognized six individuals for their years of service. From left: Joe Sechrist, Mark Rooker, Evan Yoder. Not pictured: Kim Klein, Ellynne Wiebe and Sharon Funk.
At the beginning of its Aug. 8 meeting, the USD 410 board of education recognized six people with “years of service” plaques.
“We had several different people with a multitude of experience that we wanted to make sure we took the opportunity to recognize,” said Clint Corby, USD 410 superintendent.
Those recognized were Kim Klein, stepped down after eight years as a BOE member, Joe Sechrist, stepped down after 12 years as a BOE member, Ellynne Wiebe, retired after 16 years, Mark Rooker, stepped down after 18 years as a BOE member, Sharon Funk, retired after 33 years, Evan Yoder, retired after 41 years, most recently serving as HES principal.
Substitute employee pay rates
After a discussion about the reasons behind the 10-day cutoff between the pay rates of temporary and long-term district substitutes – the district acknowledges 10 days or less as temporary and 11 days or more as long-term each with varying rates depending on the position – the board voted 6-0 to four separate action items related to the topic: temporary employee pay rates, long-term classified employee substitute rates, substitute teacher pay rates, long-term substitute rates.
“Why do we have temporary and long-term?” board member Rod Koons asked. “Why would it not just be a sub?”
In response Corby said: “I think the idea is that after an extended period of time, you’re not just subbing and getting by, you’re doing more of the job.”
“So one would say we expect less of these temporaries?” Koons asked.
“Sometimes,” Corby said. “Sometimes it’s a matter of making sure we have enough to get by. When we start talking long-term, it probably is a higher expectation.”
Corby specifically noted that temporary substitute pay in the district is comparable to the rest of Marion County, though rates vary across the state.
District “needs assessment”
A current legislative requirement for each district, the “needs assessment” must be completed by the board prior to approving the budget. This document covers items ranging from district state assessment scores to notable barriers facing the district.
The state has a goal of 75 percent of all students being at a designated level of three or four in proficiency for college/career readiness. Corby said HES meets the requirement and Hillsboro Middle/High School is within two or three percentage points.
“You’ve got to understand that most middle/high schools are nowhere near that,” Corby said. “It’s exceptional.”
Corby said he sees recruiting and maintaining high-quality employees as a potential barrier to the district.
“That’s a very real issue right now,” he said. “It seems to be more real by the day. Every time a news story comes out, my heart sinks a little bit more about the staff that are not out there and what we’re going to have to do to think about things differently. I have some ideas to do that as we go, but it’s still a challenge.”
The 2022-23 needs assessment was approved, 6-0.
The board voted 6-0 to approve updated COVID-19 protocol for 2022-23, focusing on positive cases not contact tracing, but noted that because of the ever-changing nature of the virus, the plan is subject to change.
A positive student or staff case will be isolated for five full days following a positive test. If, after five days, symptoms improve and there is no fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, the student/employee may return to school wearing a well-fitted mask for five full days. Activity participation can resume after five days if individuals wear a well-fitted mask while participating; if a mask is not worn, participation can resume after 10 days following a positive test.
District policy states that if there is a positive case in the household other than the student or staff, “please consider testing the student before sending the child to school.” Home tests are allowable for results, and are available in the school offices. If home tests are needed, contact the school office of your choice and the tests will be brought to your vehicle. Sarah Fenske will also conduct testing from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday and Friday mornings at the Hillsboro Elementary School circle drive.
In other business the board:
- voted 6-0 to add three additional early release dates: Sept. 28, Nov. 16, Feb. 15. School will be released at 1:30 p.m. for professional development time for staff;
- voted 6-0 to approve the distribution plan for the USD 410 retention bonuses, approved in July;
- approved, 6-0, each of the following personnel changes: a 4.19 percent salary increase, a $1,200 retention bonus to be paid in January 2023 and June 2023, and a $1,400 monthly health insurance contribution for Lena Kleiner; Jeff Haslett, drivers education instructor contract at $246 per student; hired Arlene Hett as the district office custodian at $12.10 per hour, five hours per week; accepted the resignation of Jayson Hanschu as assistant baseball coach; accepted the resignation of Jeff Jenson as bus driver;
- heard from Corby that the district’s summer construction projects are approaching completion;
- heard from Corby that the joint USD 410/Tabor College stadium committee will meet to discuss resurfacing the field event runways;
- heard from board member Scott Winter that Marion County Special Education Cooperative has several positions that still need filled for the school year.
The next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12 at the district office.