School district readies for 2007-08 school year with new hires and improvements
The Emery County School board met in their July meeting and one item of business was discussion was the new Green River Community Center. It is being constructed on vacant property near the BookCliff Elementary School. When the county and Green River City does the road widening they would like to do curb and gutter and a sidewalk and a retaining wall. They wondered if the school district would like to pay for the retaining wall. The school board discussed the idea and couldn't see any real advantages to the school children of Green River to do that. The children rarely use the road on that side of the school. An estimate of the cost of the wall is $55,000 for a rock wall or a cement wall at $37,000. It was determined the school district wouldn't participate in the building of a retaining wall as it will have no benefit to the students.
The board approved the use of the school buses for a rental fee for transportation at the Castle Valley Pageant.
Ed Clark, principal at Cleveland Elementary presented the Perkins plan to the school board for their approval. This plan is submitted for an extensive grant for equipment and training for vocational education. A new rule calls for the submitting of the plan to the local school board for their approval. Funds from the grant are also used to recruit nontraditional students into these vocational classes; for instance girls into wood and auto shop and boys into home economic classes.
The school board approved the negotiated items with the Emery Education Association and the Emery Classified employees association.
There is a 1 percent across the board increase in educator salaries. Educators will also receive $2,000 as part of the legislative adjustment; this is ongoing money. The classified employees will receive a 6 percent across the board cost of living increase. The district will also pay any insurance increases and step and lane adjustments.
The mileage reimbursement has been raised from 30 cents to 40 cents. The rate is 20 cents if the person could have taken a district vehicle but chose to take their own.
The school board is looking at adding a definition of insubordination to the termination policy.
The district is working on an enhanced employee recognition program to recognize employees for outstanding job performance.
The district will set up some training programs to educate employees on retirement.
Opening institute is scheduled for Aug. 20 and all classified employees are encouraged to attend as well as all educators.
Board president, Laurel Johansen was elected to go to the Utah State Board Association as a delegate. The alternate will be Sam Singleton.
The board approved the revision of existing policy: GCBD/GDBD-staff fringe benefits and approved the new rule GCBD-R/insurance waiver rules.
The student built house for 2007 has been sold and the school board signed the papers for this transaction to take place. Brody and Anya LeRoy have purchased the home.
The final inspection on the Green River gym took place and an open house is in the planning stages for after school starts in August.
The school board approved a stipend for employees who opt out of the insurance coverage, due to being covered elsewhere. The details will be worked out in the future and a letter will be sent to the employees letting them know of this option.
In personnel items, Kirk Sitterud, superintendent, said they have received a letter of resignation from Susan Wilde, consumer science teacher at Green River. Marci Thayne has been hired as a Title I coordinator, this is a half day position. Jayne Williams has been hired as an English teacher at Green River High School. Josh White has been hired as a level four math teacher at Emery High. Heather Parsons has been hired as the consumer science teacher at Green River High School. Jamie Anderson has been hired as an educational assistant and Shawna Carroll as a library assistant, Heidi Lemmon is the tobacco prevention grant coordiantor and Korene Merrell has been hired at Cleveland Elementary as a special needs student aide.
"I feel good about the staffing," said Sitterud, "We are still advertising for two elementary teachers. Collette Clement has transferred from Huntington Elementary to Canyon View to teach English. A bus driver is needed for the Castle Valley Center and will fill a six hour teaching assistant position if all works out."
A teacher will have to be hired at Huntington Elementary to fill in for JoyLynn Humphrey who will miss part of the year due to illness.
Business manager, Jared Black told of the classified study which has been completed comparing the district's wages to other districts for comparable positions. The findings were on average very comparable except in the technology positions. These positions were found to be on average approximately $3 per hour less than similar districts. The school board made a decision to bring these positions in line with districts comparable to the Emery District. This adjustment will be an approximate $3 increase for these tech employees.
Superintendant Sitterud told the school board of the scout centennial activity to be held in June 2008. The district has forwarded the agreement to the scout's legal department for review. The scouts will headquarter at the Canyon View Junior High and will use the grounds and the kitchen as well as bathroom and shower facilities. Portable showers and bathrooms will also be set up at the school.
Superintendent Sitterud said the speaker for the opening institute on Aug. 20 will be Brad Montgomery who speaks on how to use humor in the classroom.
Black explained also on Aug. 20 will be the benefits fair where vendors will set-up at the Museum of the San Rafael and a family BBQ will be at the Castle Dale park.