|Ed Jobs Fund money designated for staff bonuses|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Staff bonuses is where Holyoke School District’s Education Job Program Funding will be targeted. The school board adopted a resolution for this designation at its May 3 meeting.
Ed Jobs Fund provides $121,462, and an additional $63,306 will come from the mill levy override for a total bonus package of $184,768.
Bonuses will total $180,600, with the balance to be used toward the required Medicare contribution. PERA contributions are not required on one-time bonuses, so PERA will not be taken out of the bonus checks.
The additional funding resolution passed last week will be submitted to the Colorado Dept. of Education (CDE) and meets the requirements of the law.
The resolution notes acceptance of two one-time funding grants from CDE. The first is for Education Job Program funding.
The second is for American Recovery and Reinvestment Funds of $46,638 to be used to help defray utility costs in order to maintain comfortable classrooms for effective instruction.
Students oppose school calendar
HHS junior Jeremy Loutensock addressed the board last week, citing his opposition to the additional number of days in the 2011-12 school calendar. He shared a petition signed by those who agree with him.
Loutensock also reported on a written survey he took, which was returned by 45 students. Only two percent believe the additional days will be beneficial. The rest have concern. He said they’re particularly concerned with the winter portion of the school year.
Board member Kim Killin said Loutensock had some good points, which the board has discussed as well. She and Jeff Tharp praised Loutensock for the mature way he approached the subject.
Five policies reviewed
One policy was introduced and four were approved on first reading at last week’s school board meeting.
An accreditation policy was introduced and will return May 17 for first reading.
Supt. Bret Miles noted the accreditation process worked well this past year and policy should be adopted accordingly. He said good comments have resulted from the first plan presented by the district.
First reading was approved on policies covering graduation requirements, staff concern/complaints/grievances, staff leave and sick leave bank/support leave bank.
The three staff related policies were worked on by the superintendent advisory committee. Miles said the intent was to clarify language, not to make big changes to the approach.
With regard to the graduation requirement policy which was discussed in detail at the board’s April 19 meeting, Miles said it comes from practically a year-long process of evaluation.
It has gone through the leadership team, high school staff, district accountability and administrative team. Miles acknowledged the lion’s share of the work was completed by principal Susan Ortner and counselor Summer Maloney.
Supt. Miles announced a recent $3,000 gift through a grant from Fontanelle Hybrids Stalkholder Dealers, including Rusty Triplette of Holyoke.
This FOCUS (Fontanelle Offering Communities Understanding Support) grant will be used to kick off an after-school program for grades 1-12 at Family Education Services. It is part of a partnership between the school district and Family Education Services.
Miles noted there were 12 students already taking advantage of the after-school program May 2.
In other business at the May 3 meeting, the Re-1J board:
—hired Shauna Close to fill the grade 5-12 band position for the 2011-12 school year.
Close will graduate this month from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley with a degree in K-12 music. She is completing her student teaching at Platte Valley Middle/High School in Kersey.
—accepted the resignation of elementary special education teacher Elizabeth Bloss, effective at the end of the current school year.
—entered an agreement with Infinite Campus Student Information System for 2011-12, as recommended by the district technology committee.
—approved Computer Information Concepts (CIC) for computer support services at an annual cost of about $7,500.
The Infinite Campus system will replace Goedustar. Contract cost is $35,267, which will provide the student information system installed with training, and includes a lunch program and calling program (to replace Blackboard Connect).
Ongoing costs after the initial investment will be $7,500 to CIC, plus ongoing costs for the lunch program and phone system to bring the annual total to $10,417.
Annual costs will be increased by $2,822 to get this new and improved program.
Even in a year of budget cuts, Supt. Miles said they think the additional cost is worth it to make sure the district is operating as efficiently as possible in a time they’re asking staff to do more with less.
—adopted the Boards of Education Self-funded Trust (BEST) health insurance plan resolution as recommended by the staff insurance committee.
—approved nonresident student admission and transportation requests for Cierra Stricker and Maegan and Isaiah Hamberger, who reside in Yuma County.
—voted to contribute $1 per student at 578 students to the Lobato vs State of Colorado’s finance lawsuit.