Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer
Dr. Bob Shannon, Superintendent, reported that 64% of returned ballots approved raising the Local Option Budget authority. The board also received a report on summer programs, and there are 1,245 students enrolled.
Elizabeth Nelson, director of the district’s preschool programs, reported on the difficulty of getting assistant teachers with the appropriate credential. In order to meet grant requirements and to hire qualified employees, the district began offering a program to help employees obtain the required credential. Employees found the credentialing program to be rigorous, the commitment to be extensive, and wages too low to want to continue in the program. Ms. Nelson suggested reducing the number of assistant teachers, which would allow the remaining assistant teachers to be paid more and at a level that area preschools pay. Reducing the hours preschools are in operation would help to reduce the number of assistant teachers needed, and the resulting student to teacher ratio would still be in line with state requirements. The board approved increasing the wages of assistant teachers with the appropriate credential to $11.50/hour.
Board members discussed increasing textbook and material fees, and raising the price of the parking permit for the high school by $25. Leah Fliter said she supported increasing the parking permit fee because the district should be encouraging students to ride the bus, bike, or walk to school. Darell Edie said students may choose to park on the street, and he would rather have students in the parking lot. Dave Colburn expressed similar concerns that students’ parking on the street may cause problems for homeowners. Pat Hudgins was concerned that students might carpool with more students in a car than was safe in order to save on the parking fee. The board approved 4-3 increasing the textbook, material, and parking fees.
The board approved 7-0 to name the turf field at Bishop Stadium for Lew Lane, former high school football coach.