|Budget authorizes salary payment from beginning balance|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Adopting the June budget for 2014-15, Holyoke School District Re-1J Board of Education authorized the use of $60,000 from the beginning fund balance for a one-time staff salary payment.
Action on the budget was handled at the June 17 board meeting, which preceded a board retreat.
The Public Employees Retirement Association doesn’t allow bonuses to be included in employees’ highest average salary calculation when they are in their last four years before retirement.
To be included as part of one’s salary, the funds had to be budgeted and not left over. As a result, the district is budgeting the $60,000 to be paid to employees in 2014-15. Superintendent Bret Miles said they have filed this request with PERA but have not received an answer.
Budget numbers for 2014-15 were approved as discussed at previous meetings. It is anticipated that the beginning fund balance for 2014-15 will be $1.267 million on July 1, and the ending fund balance will be $1.207 million.
The following appropriations for the adopted budget were approved for 2014-15:
New staff hired
Two teachers and two custodians were hired at last week’s board meeting.
Wiggins High School graduate Brady Walter was hired as the JR/SR high P.E. teacher and head wrestling coach. He was a two-time state wrestling champion in Colorado and wrestled for three years at Ft. Hays State University in Hays, Kan.
Walter then transferred to the University of Northern Colorado where he received his bachelor’s degree in sport and exercise science, with an emphasis in K-12 physical education and a minor in coaching. He completed his student teaching and helped coach wrestling in Brush. He will be placed on the district salary schedule at BA Step 1.
Heather Monett was hired as one of the third-grade teachers for 2014-15. She will be teaching science in the third-fourth-grade departmentalization. She is a Grand Junction High School graduate and earned a B.A. in elementary education from UNC.
She was a short-term assistant teacher in a sixth-grade setting and taught this past year in a first-grade position in Brush. She will be placed on the district salary schedule at BA Step 2.
The third-grade position opened when Lynn Schneider accepted the position as reading interventionist at the elementary school for the 2014-15 school year. She will be working with small groups of students and will also assist with English Language Learners.
Emma Cruz and Rosa Ronquillo were hired as full-time custodians at the elementary school. Cruz’s position is effective immediately, while Ronquillo will begin July 10.
Herman named vice pres.
Accepting the resignation of board member Kim Killin, who has recently been appointed Phillips County judge, the board then elected Dennis Herman to fill the board vice presidency that Killin had held.
Applications to fill the board vacancy are available at the school administration office and must be returned by 4 p.m. Friday, July 18. Interviews will be conducted Tuesday, Aug. 5.
The board has 60 days to make an appointment, with Killin’s resignation effective June 30. The appointee will serve until the next regular election in November of 2015.
At that point, an election will be held for a two-year term to complete the remainder of Killin’s unexpired term.
Board members expressed genuine appreciation for Killin’s service on the board and to the community. Specifically, her pivotal role in the track project and the establishment of student focus groups were mentioned.
Killin noted the Scholarship Trust paperwork has been filed with the secretary of state and the 501(c)3 papers are almost ready to be filed. The Scholarship Trust will be set up with Killin, Herman and John Schneider as board members.
Student handbook changes reviewed
In other business last week, the board reviewed changes to the JR/SR high student handbook as presented by Principal Susan Ortner.
Most changes reflected policy/procedure updates that have been approved by the board in this past year. Among the changes are those for the academic opportunity center and how class rank is figured.
Additionally, Ortner noted changes in the semester achievement incentive program. NWEA testing will not be done in the fall, and PLAN and EXPLORE testing will no longer be given to 10th- and eighth-graders, so those incentives have been removed.
A clarification was also made in the dress code in relation to leggings. The update notes that leggings may be worn as long as the shirt/dress covering the leggings meets the extended fingertip guideline.
Holyoke Enterprise June 26, 2014