May Regular Board Meeting Minutes
Arapahoe-Holbrook Public School Board of Education – Regular Meeting School Library
May 14th, 2018 7:00 pm
President Dennis Roskop called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
President Roskop announced that the Arapahoe-Holbrook Board of Education follows the rules of the Open Meetings Act which is posted.
The following members were present: Dan Warner, Chad Carpenter, Rodney Whipple, Dennis Roskop, Brad Schutz, and Lisa Anderson.
The following member(s) were absent: None.
Also present was Dr. George Griffith, Superintendent, Bob Braithwait, Principal, and Cassie Hilker, Board Secretary. Visitors were present.
A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Whipple to approve the agenda as presented. AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner. Motion carried 6-0.
President Roskop welcomed the visitors and asked for Public Comment. Dalton Franssen stated that he was at the meeting to fulfill a graduation requirement. Brandon Tucker stated that he was at the meeting to fulfill a graduation requirement. Chloe Carlson stated that they made it to National FCCLA in the section of entrepreneurship. They did a coffee shop in Arapahoe and they are looking for per diem money. Hannah Jenkins stated that they are going June 28th thru July 2nd. They fly out of Omaha on June 27th and fly back on July 3rd. They are asking for per diem money for seven days and the total per diem amount would be $570.00. Schutz asked how many students were going. Jenkins stated that it is just her and Chloe and a sponsor. Schutz asked where they were flying to. Jenkins stated they are going to Atlanta, Georgia. Isaac Goshert stated that he was at the meeting to fulfill a graduation requirement. Valerie Leising stated that she was at the meeting to listen to the discussion on the unpaid leave policy and handbook change and to encourage the board to become compliant with area schools. Rachel Rice stated that she was at the meeting with concern about the current leave policy. Glenna Hoefs stated that she was at the meeting for the same discussion along with her baby Lincoln. Kaitlin Spaulding stated that she was at the meeting to support Chloe Carlson and Hannah Jenkins. Marcia Foley stated that she was at the meeting to request per diem money for the History Day students to attend Nationals in Washington DC. 8 students qualified, but 7 are going. It is June 8th and they come back the 16th. They are driving. They do have 2 students flying in because they will be at Boys State, but they will be riding back with the group.
Braithwait stated that they had Rulon Gardner at the FFA Banquet and he did an assembly for the school. He did a very nice job. He also met with our wrestling team and he did a great job. Rulon and John E Koller exchanged numbers for camps down the road. We had kindergarten roundup and we will have a minimum of 25 students in kindergarten next year. That is a really good number and we are thrilled about that. The senior trip went well according to the kids and sponsors. Graduation and Honor’s Night went really well. Kids were very well behaved and respectful. He appreciated the board members that were able to be there. Driver’s Ed meeting was tonight and it looks like we have 15 people interested. Donnie Miller from Minden will be teaching it again this year. Our Track Team qualified 14 for State Track. All of the kids did a great job the entire year. Golf also had a qualifier today; Cord Frink will be going to state. John Paulsen was very excited for him.
Griffith stated that he recommends following Mr. Schaben on Twitter. There are a lot of great things there about the Robotics Program. There are videos about autonomous robots designed to move without running into anything. He and his students have also had success in getting a drone built and flying.
There are still a few bugs but they will get them figured out. He was in the new building today and one of the rooms is clean and ready to go. The rest of the rooms have the flooring in and we are getting counters installed in the library and offices. We can move our stuff into the new building in late May, but will not be able to use the rooms until late July. The warranty on the facilities does not start until we can actually use the area. He wanted to thank all of the staff for doing a great job getting things ready for the moving process. We have had some students express interest in helping move stuff to the new building and he will request they have permission slips signed by parents prior to allowing them to help. Mr. Sich, the new Technology Director would like to get here and get started on things. He has found a house. He is looking at using SOCKS software for the website. Griffith stated that he is familiar with that software and it works really well. We have ended the Backpack Program for the year this week. We served 45-50 packs each week for 35 weeks. Each pack contained a breakfast, a lunch and a supper. He also received a letter from Rezi, a foreign exchange student, apologizing for his behavior in the photo booth at prom. The letter stated that the picture he took in the photo booth was extremely immature, disruptive and disrespectful to board members, teachers, and the school. Even though he didn’t know anyone else would see the picture it was still wrong and not a school appropriate action. He learned from this experience and understands that his behavior may affect the schools reputation. Everyone can expect better and more appropriate behavior from him in the future. He humbly asked for forgiveness and stated that he appreciates all that everyone does for the school. Whipple stated that he appreciates the bubble app that Griffith is using to send pictures of the classrooms to the board. Anderson asked Griffith if they were planning to do any kind of a summer backpack program. Griffith stated that they will not be doing anything this summer, but next summer they are planning to run a lunch program. There is some grant money available. It is something that pays for itself. It was just hard to do this summer.
Board Member Reports: None.
Board Committee Reports: Roskop stated that they had a Finance Meeting prior to this meeting. The second interest payment for the bond came out in this month’s claims. Everything else was pretty much in line. There were a few questions about where we are getting some materials.
A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Anderson to approve the Consent Agenda as presented, which included minutes from previous meetings and financial reports. AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter. Motion carried 6-0.
A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Anderson to approve claims including the General Fund, Lunch Fund, Bond Fund, Building Fund, and Student Fee Fund totaling $560,310.50. AYES: Roskop, Schutz but abstaining from Claim Number 29708 to the Arapahoe Public Mirror for $963.07, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter but abstaining from Claim Number 29785 to W & J Carpenter-Repair for $176.34, and Whipple but abstaining from Claim Number 29711 to ATC for $350.38. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that these students represented our school well at Districts. Not only in their educational ability but also in how they represent us in their integrity. He strongly recommends supporting their activities in this area. A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Whipple to approve the per diem requests for National FCCLA and National History Day. AYES: Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, and Roskop. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that the total payment due on Payment Application #010 to Hausmann Construction is $892,431.48. It leaves a balance of $4,418,686.45. They are really close to being done on the new portion. A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Carpenter to approve the Payment Application #010 to Hausmann Construction in the amount of $892,431.48. AYES: Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, and Schutz. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that the payment due to Midwest Restaurant Supply is $54,891.00. This is for equipment and materials that are here and some that are in storage. They have been out to remove all of the equipment from the current kitchen and moved what was needed over to the new building. They sent
pictures of all of the equipment they have and are storing along with serial numbers. He recommends paying the claim. Warner asked who would be liable for damages if we pay for them and they are in their storage. Griffith stated that if the items are damaged in storage or delivery it is the responsibility of Midwest Restaurant Supply. A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Anderson to approve Payment Application #003 to Midwest Restaurant Supply in the amount of $54,891.00. AYES: Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson. Motion carried 6-0.
Roskop stated that there are a couple of bids that have already been approved that are being re- evaluated. Griffith is working to get Josh Albright from Hausmann Construction on the phone to explain these further. Griffith stated that the bid for the sliding grill was included in another item. The lab equipment was for the fume hood, which we are providing from our current science room. Whipple stated that it looked like they are all below budget as well. Josh Albright joined the meeting by phone at 7:20 pm. Griffith stated to Albright that there are some questions on the bid tabs presented that are needing to be approved or re-approved. He asked Albright to explain why they are re-bidding some of the items. Albright stated that Bid Tab 02A1 Structural Demo was presented previously and got approval, but the budget number on the bid tab was from the original GMP not the finalized GMP. The finalized GMP budget number was $175,000 and the original was a different number. Griffith stated that the original bid tab showed a budget number of $195,380. Albright asked if that is what was shown on the original bid tab. Griffith confirmed it was. Albright stated that number was originally plugged in to that bid tab and when the GMP was finalized and he didn’t catch that change on the bid tab and now they are presenting the bid tab again to correct that number so that they have the correct savings going back in to the contingency fund. Griffith stated that the bid tab for Specialties was another item. Albright agreed. The bid tab for Specialties had been previously submitted and the same issue occurred. The original GMP budget number is shown not the finalized GMP budget number. We are now reconciling it so that it is correct. Another item added was the hand dryers that were not spec’d out. The specialty supplier did not catch that and added it back in to the budget number. Griffith asked if there was another one that was corrected. Albright stated that the other one that needed corrected was the bid tab for the athletic equipment and gym bleachers. It was the same scenario where the budget number changed from original to final and we didn’t catch it and now that we are reconciling it we need to fix it. None of the actual costs or bids changed, just the budgeted number. Griffith asked how this impacts the overall price of the project. Albright stated that the GMP doesn’t change at all. What we are doing here is finalizing these bid tabs and once that is done he will get with Clark Enersen to get a Contingency Fund Adjustment put together so that the savings we get here get rolled back in to the Contingency Fund. The amount is $98,602. Griffith asked if that money is not spent does it return to the school. Albright confirmed that it would return to the school. One hundred percent of the Contingency Fund goes back to the school. Anderson asked if the Contingency Fund increased or decreased by $98,000. Albright stated that the Contingency Fund would increase by that amount. Currently, there is approximately $6,000 left in the Contingency Fund and with this there would be approximately $104,000 left without any of the pending changes. Griffith stated that with the total price being the same it provides $98,600 in additional funds that could be returned to the school. Albright agreed. Anderson stated that another way to look at it is that once the Contingency Fund is done Hausmann pays, so it is helping Hausmann too. Warner agreed and asked Albright if he would rather lower the GMP. Albright stated that if they do that then they would request changing some of those change order items taken out of the Contingency Fund which would then increase the GMP. Currently, there are half a dozen items that are considered change orders and they total to approximately $120,000. The largest one of those is the glazing. He stated that his answer to the question is that yes they could adjust the GMP but these change order items would be considered an increase to the GMP. Griffith stated that if they go over the original amount of the GMP, this $98,000 will cover the majority of the changes that we have requested. Albright agreed. Those change order items have now been taken out of the Contingency Fund and if that is depleted Hausmann would request or require a change order for those owner-related changes. Griffith stated that we have added $120,000 in our change order requests and they can re-instate those as costs if they chose to. This $98,000 will offset that much out the $120,000 which decreases our liability. Anderson asked if we were paying for change orders already. Griffith stated that they took the changes that we have requested out of the Contingency Fund and this adjustment would mostly reimburse those costs. Roskop stated that we are just increasing the Contingency Fund $98,000. Albright and Warner agreed. Craig Hilker asked where that $98,000 came from. Griffith stated that it is a correction of original budgeted items. Anderson asked
where the variance goes now. She asked if it decreases the GMP. Roskop asked what happens if they go over the variance of $98,000 and if they will continue to ask for it or if it goes to the GMP. Albright stated that he reads the contract to say that these savings would go back to the contingency fund. If there are contingency items that come up and that contingency is depleted, they would then issue a change order for those change order items out there or portions of them to replenish the contingency fund. Roskop asked if when they approve this tonight if all of the starred items in the contingency fund go away. Albright stated not necessarily. Griffith stated up to $98,600. Roskop asked why they would approve increasing the contingency fund. Albright stated that these savings per the contract go to the contingency fund. Anderson asked where the savings would go if they don’t approve this. Albright stated that they wouldn’t go anywhere because they wouldn’t have an approved bid tab. There were several items that didn’t get bought out due to lack of subcontractor bids. We held that budget number in the GMP so that we were covered. Then we went through and bought out those items and got bids and are recommending those bidders the same as we were previously. That savings would go back in to the Contingency Fund. Basically, we are reconciling the difference between what the budget number was and what the actual cost is. Schutz asked if they could split the difference by putting $50,000 into the Contingency Fund and the rest lowers the GMP. Albright stated that this isn’t approving the Contingency Fund, it is approving the bid and the savings. If we want to discuss further how that Contingency Fund is replenished. We can discuss that further down the line. This is just finalizing the bid tabs. If the board wants to realize the savings in a different way he can have those discussions on his end and see what they are comfortable with. They are not necessarily replenishing the Contingency Fund with these savings today. It will be a separate Contingency Fund Adjustment as they have seen in the past. Roskop and Griffith thanked Albright. Albright ended the call at 7:35 pm. Carpenter stated that it seems to him that they just came up with $100,000 more savings, miraculously. Griffith stated that if it is not spent it comes back to the school. Carpenter stated that the Contingency Fund was pretty much wiped out at the last meeting. Roskop stated that it is not the school’s Contingency Fund. It is Hausmann’s Contingency Fund. We have to quit calling it our Contingency Fund because people in the public are taking it as our budget number. It is Hausmann’s Contingency Fund, not ours. We put in 3% into Contingency when we finalized the GMP. That is the maximum amount they have, not us. That is their Contingency Fund. If that is depleted they will come back and do the change orders as requested. In his opinion, if we are going to have motions on those we need to have motions on those specific things that we can argue whether they were change orders at our request or theirs. He has a hard time saying yes let’s put this in the Contingency Fund and hope we get it back later. There is a set GMP for a reason. They are at risk, not us. Anderson stated that she didn’t think they could change the GMP after the contract was signed. Griffith stated that the way the Contingency Fund Changes have been approved was with the understanding that the starred items could be taken out and charged back to the District. He looks at it like this; he has $60,000 to spend on a car and $20,000 in savings which would be the contingency. He wanted to buy something else with the $20,000 and he spent $10,000, but the car cost $10,000 less so he has that money to put back into that account. The total cost for the District is not going to change. The money is basically covering $98,600 worth of the changes that have already been approved by the District. This would leave a balance of around $20,000. It is just an accounting thing. They are not raising the percentage of the Contingency Fund. The window glazing was a change on our part for more secure windows and that was around $85,000 which eats up most of the $98,600. He sees it as a wash and it is not giving them more funds to use. The flexibility in how it is used is different if something else comes up. That is how he understands it. Roskop stated that he would prefer to approve these bid tabs but where the money goes and how that is put can be discussed after the tabs are approved. The cost didn’t change. All they changed was the budgeted amount. Looking at our contracted GMP, that is correct. We had $175,000 budgeted on the Structural Demo and that is what it was. Originally, $195,380 was on that bid tab. Just because their budgeted number is higher, the GMP number did not change. Schutz agreed that they should not just say tonight that the savings goes to Contingency. Warner stated that the biggest concern we all have is that there is $98,600 of savings and is that their savings or our savings. That is where we want clarification. If we allow them to put it back into their Contingency that gives them $98,600 worth of room that they can come back on us with change orders. Warner would follow that recommendation. He is fine with approving the bid tabs, but where the savings goes is up for discussion. At the end of the project, it will cost us our GMP plus any change orders we may have. That is what we are up against. So, we either give it to them now and pacify them and it wipes out all but $20,000 of our change orders and go down the road or we can debate it. A motion was made by Warner
and seconded by Schutz to only approve the bid tabs as presented, not the location of the savings. AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that in order to provide dual credit Speech and dual credit English internally in the high school he is recommending that Heidi Thomas and Joanna Pruitt move forward with getting their Masters Degree so they can teach these college credit courses. This will save a considerable amount of money on the distance learning program. Usually, he runs those things as professional development for reimbursement but after some research there is an addendum to the Negotiated Agreement that needs board approval. He knows that one is taking six credits this summer. The cost is only for the cost of tuition that we would be reimbursing. That would provide us with staff that could teach College English and College Speech in-house. Currently, we pay a large amount of money to provide distance learning for those college courses. He would like to find a way to eliminate the cost of that service. Cassie Hilker stated that she thought the cost was $23,000 per year. Roskop asked if he was looking to get rid of our distance learning program. Griffith stated that if they could provide everything in-house, yes. It is just a way to have it fit our schedule better and right now we can’t offer College Speech over distance learning. Anderson asked what we offer now over distance learning. Griffith stated that we only offer College English. Anderson asked if he was looking to add a College Speech and College English in-house. Griffith agreed. This way it could be offered at multiple times or a different time of the day and it would be 5 days a week instead of 3 days a week. We will be able to offer 3 college courses in Math and 3 college courses in the Ag Program. These have been approved by Central Community College. We are also getting things finalized for College Chemistry. Anderson stated that currently a teacher has to oversee the distance learning. Griffith agreed. This would also provide another option for a Business course. The idea is to expand our offerings and make it more workable for our kids in their schedules. Roskop asked if this is coming off of our policy that we used to hire individuals that may not have met what we exactly needed for a teacher and we paid for them to go to school. Griffith stated that it is actually for an endorsement in the high area needs for reimbursement of college tuition to get an endorsement. Whipple asked if this allows us to teach these classes to other area schools over distance learning. Griffith stated that we could do that. Cambridge is interested in working with us on this.
A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Schutz to enter in to executive session for the protection of public interest at 7:48 pm. AYES: Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson. Motion carried 6-0.
A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Carpenter to exit executive session at 8:01 pm.
Roskop stated that at this time with the information provided we are going to table this action item until the next meeting. We would like more information on number of students and costs and how that would be offset. We feel it is important to push staff forward to get more education, but how we do that and what we are doing with that we need more information. Griffith stated that he can get that. Roskop thanked Griffith.
Griffith stated that annually we complete an application for our subgroups with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Currently, the number of hours is set at 17.5 hours per week to be eligible for health insurance for classified staff. So, if he hires someone as part-time we have to offer them health insurance. The hours should probably be higher than 17.5 per week. He would like to get input from the board on what it should be increased to. He wasn’t sure if that was something the board set or if it was something a prior superintendent set. Roskop stated that it is his understanding that 17.5 was a number either set by Blue Cross Blue Shield or the Affordable Care Act. Cassie stated that the minimum with Blue Cross is 17.5. Griffith stated that it could be higher, but it can’t go below 17.5. Anderson asked if there was a maximum. Cassie stated that it just has a minimum to follow when it has to be offered to employees. Griffith stated that it is based on the average number of hours worked per week. Anderson asked if 17.5 is the minimum, isn’t that where we have to be. Cassie stated that we are talking about changing the 17.5 to a higher number. So the minimum hours worked could be 20 or 25 to be eligible for health care instead of 17.5. We fill in that number, 17.5 is as low as Blue Cross goes. Schutz asked if we raise it to 20 are we providing full health care coverage for a part-time job. Cassie stated that it is for the employee only. Griffith agreed. It is different for Certified Staff. Cassie stated that Certified Staff is a separate Sub-
Group. Whipple asked if Griffith was making a recommendation. Griffith stated that he recommends increasing it to 25. Anderson asked if there is a top. Griffith stated that the maximum we could go is 30 due to the Affordable Care Act. Whipple asked what the basis was for this recommendation. Griffith stated that basically everyone we have meets that and the people that are below it are there. However, if we would need to hire somebody half-time to fill in for four months we would have to provide them healthcare and that is an additional cost for those months. It won’t affect any of our current employees. It will only affect those coming in under 25 hours per week. He thought 17.5 was a bit low. He has no problem leaving it there either, but he wanted the board to be aware where it was set. Whipple asked if it affects anybody today. Griffith stated that it doesn’t affect anybody today; anybody today would be grandfathered in. A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Whipple to change the minimum hours required to work to be eligible for health insurance from 17.5 to 25. Anderson asked when that would be effective. Griffith stated that would be effect at renewal which is 9-1. AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that they had a request from a parent for a Unified Bowling Team. This is a new thing. We missed the deadline for our own team. We have visited with Mr. Shepard at Cambridge and they are willing to have some of our students go over. It usually requires one special needs student and three or four regular ed students. The goal is to have this available to our students that are interested. If we have a good number, we could look at doing something in-house next year with our local bowling alley. This is our only option for the coming school year. Cambridge has it on their agenda at their board meeting tonight as well. Whipple asked if this is something for IEP students. Griffith stated that it is for students that would qualify for Special Olympics. At least one of the students on the team has to meet that requirement. It becomes an inclusive competition. There are students with special needs and those without competing together as a team. Braithwait stated that to have a team there has to be one student with special needs and two regular ed students for bowling. Whipple asked if this is done during school or after school. He also asked if we provide transportation. Braithwait stated that it would be a Saturday/Sunday morning or afternoon kind of thing. Students can do it dual, so students can do this along with the other sports such as basketball or wrestling. Griffith stated that they have a parent that is willing to provide transportation. He has had a close association with Special Olympics in the past and he would be willing to provide transportation as well. He used to be a Medical Director for the Special Olympics in Pennsylvania. Carpenter asked if there were students interested in this. Griffith confirmed that there are students interested. A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Carpenter to approve the Unified Bowling Coop with Cambridge. AYES: Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, and Whipple. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that the change to graduation requirements would begin with incoming freshmen. With the adjustment in our schedule we are able to offer both Ag Leadership and Speech. We are required to offer a Speech class. We have been using Ag Leadership as a Speech class; however it does not meet the Speech requirements. There are a number of areas it does not meet. This will allow students to take both classes. The initial concern was that if they had to take Speech they wouldn’t be able to get into the Ag Leadership class. With the restructuring of our schedule they will now be able to do that. It also includes the dual credit courses that will be available. They are starred. A motion was made by Anderson and seconded by Whipple to approve the graduation requirements for 2021-2022 graduates. Schutz asked if this changes the accumulated hours at all. Griffith stated that it does not change the accumulated hours and it doesn’t include the students that would not have had the option. That is why we are starting it with the 2021-2022 graduates. AYES: Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, and Roskop. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that this is just an update to the current standards. They haven’t been changed in a while. The one set we are using was approved in 2014-2015. A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Whipple to approve the Content Standards Policy as presented. AYES: Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, and Schutz. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that it is Policy 4225. It is to address leave without pay. The first paragraph addresses the use of accumulated sick leave in order to receive the disability benefits. All staff are required to use their accumulated sick leave or leave prior to taking unpaid leave. This also addresses when an employee has
exhausted all of their accumulated and is unable to attend work for medical reasons or to care for an immediate family member (defined below) shall retain district paid benefits for a period of not more than two months of unpaid leave. At the end of the two months of unpaid leave, the employee will no longer qualify for the district health plan at which time the employee will receive information on and will be eligible for COBRA. The recommendation of Blue Cross was to do it as soon as they started unpaid leave, but it has been recommended by legal counsel to not go less than two months. And changing it for 3-4 days is not worth it. The big change here is that they will have their per diem rate deduction for salary, but they will not be deducted for their benefits for that period of time. If an employee has an employee/spouse plan it will be a savings of $81.52 per day that won’t be deducted. If an employee has a family plan it will be a savings of $108 per day that won’t be deducted. If it is being split with another district it would be $54.35. This policy would get us in line with all of the other districts in the area. He has checked with all of the other RPAC schools and they do not deduct for benefits. This would include health insurance, dental insurance and short and long term disability insurance. The definition of immediate family would be for personal illness or injury; illness or injury of a child, step-child, adopted child, a parent, step-parent, parent-in-law; illness or injury of a spouse or significant other; a medical reason for a family member other than those indicated above with approval of the superintendent. He added that for those that may have been raised by an aunt. Those would be special options. Whipple asked if Griffith has looked at the other Districts and if this brings us in line with what they are doing. Griffith confirmed that none of the other districts deduct for health insurance benefits. The only district that does anything different is Southern Valley. They have a leave bank and can obtain up to five additional days from that to cover any unpaid leave. Whipple asked if staff has been in to talk to Griffith. Griffith confirmed that staff has been in to visit with him. They have also provided some letters about this. One teacher had a concern that during the short time they were off they had $314 per day and due to the timing of the birth was not eligible for the disability insurance. This would be the full cost and this change would reduce it down by $108 per day. With the additional illness of kids following that makes it difficult. As a former teacher and still an educator, he doesn’t like to be gone from school and he knows his staff doesn’t either. They won’t be gone for any reason unless they have to be because it is far more work to be gone than it is to be here. This employee was docked about $3,757 for the year and the cost of insurance would have decreased that considerably. Another staff member had $3,553.39 docked from pay after all sick leave was used. They had other health issues for the children, follow up appointments, self sickness, child in the hospital and their deduction was around $350 per day and this change would knock it down to at least $240 instead of $350. That would be some help. An employee qualifies for short term disability the first day they are off without pay. Between the two that would almost keep staff getting what they would normally receive. They are not asking for more salary. They would just like to be there for their families. There was a recommendation on the sick leave, specifically on maternity leave to have a set percent deducted instead of a full day of salary. He has seen it done many ways. We pay a substitute $100 per day. This change would definitely be beneficial to staff. His recommendation is to have the policy set for next year and these changes put in place so that we are in line with the rest of the RPAC. Whipple asked if there were any other requests from staff that this doesn’t address. Griffith states that this brings us in line with what other districts are doing with their staff. We are the only district in the RPAC that deducts for benefits. To stay competitive and be able to recruit staff we need to at least be comparable to the districts we are surrounded by and competing with. Whipple stated that one school had a sick bank and asked if Griffith considered that. Griffith stated that he looked at it and he has received positive and negative feedback on it. The negative is that everyone would have to give up a day to donate to the sick bank. The staff that have a lot of accumulated leave aren’t really excited about giving that up since they can use that excess leave to buy a personal day. The management on it and who receives the benefit is hard. They had something like this at another district he was at and they had a committee that decided who got what and when. A sick leave bank is also something that would have to be negotiated. Schutz stated that he thought they decided last month that the negotiations committee would sit down with Griffith and look at this and come up with a recommendation. Griffith stated that the attorney informed him that it is a policy and not a negotiable item. It is based on our policy. He also recommended the two months. That runs most people to the end of their FERPA leave. Craig Hilker asked if they will be able to be gone for two months before having to pay their insurance benefits back. Griffith agreed. Craig thought that was quite a bit. Griffith stated that some districts in the area go longer than two months. FERPA is twelve weeks. Schutz asked what our policy is on maternity leave. Griffith stated that we don’t have a maternity leave policy. Schutz asked if any other districts have maternity
leave policies. Griffith stated that none indicated to him that they did. Schutz asked if they just use their accumulated sick days then. Griffith agreed. They can also use personal days. They have to use their sick days to qualify for disability insurance. Valerie Leising asked if the disability insurance kicks in after sick leave is used or after 45 days. Griffith stated that it kicks in after sick leave is used up. For maternity, it will pay up to a total of six weeks. If an employee has one week of sick leave, the disability will pay up to five more weeks. Anything beyond that is not covered. Leising stated that is just for maternity. Griffith agreed. Leising stated that once they are out of maternity leave they don’t get anything else. They can’t get disability if she is gone for a doctor’s appointment for a day. Griffith agreed. Schutz asked what the typical amount of time was for maternity leave in the private sector. Craig Hilker stated that Cassie got four weeks. Leising stated that by law the babysitter cannot take babies until they are six weeks old. Sue Helms stated that if they are premature it is eight weeks. Craig stated that it also depends on how many employees a business has. He is just saying that not all places are that long. Griffith stated that any employee can request up to twelve weeks. Schutz stated that he thinks they have more to talk about. Leising stated that nationally, we do not have maternity leave. There are other countries that do. That is something to take up with a Senator. Nationwide, the United States does not have maternity leave. Schutz stated that his question is what the rule of thumb is for the private sector. Glenna Hoefs stated that when she worked for Cargill she got six weeks paid leave and two weeks at sixty percent. Griffith stated that it depends on the type of industry. There are a lot of big tech companies that provide it for both the mother and father if they work there and also provide childcare. There are variances everywhere in between. Rachel Rice stated that her sister-in-law is in OT at Mary Lanning and she is getting twelve weeks paid. Cassie asked where Mary Lanning was at. Rachel stated Hastings. Sue Helms stated that they are not asking for paid leave, they are just asking to not have so much deducted. Leising stated just to not have benefits deducted. Helms stated that one of our recent mothers had $9,220 deducted from her paycheck for 28 days. Roskop stated that they understand that. The problem is that is what they are paying staff to be here. This is the first time where staff start to see what the board see as the full benefit of being here. It is beyond just salary. Leising stated that she understands that. Roskop stated that it is salary, benefits and all of those things that are included. This is what the board sees on a daily basis when we are trying to figure out how we are going to budget and what we are going to do. He is not saying they aren’t going to change it, but he wants them to understand this is how the board pays on a daily basis for staff. He understands what they are saying and what they are asking for and he sees the benefit to staff, now he has to determine what the benefit is to the school and how is it going to be offset. He wants young, vibrant teachers to want to come and teach here and is that offset by giving staff back their benefits. That is what he is trying to figure out in dollars and cents. It is not that we don’t understand. It is determining that value. Griffith stated that he looks at it as being competitive with the other districts in the area. If we are recruiting teachers and they are interviewing at another district in the area, this would put us at a disadvantage. Whipple asked if the current policy he is recommending does offer staff benefits over the prior policy. Griffith stated that currently they deduct benefits and everything from their pay per day. The total amount divided by 184. This change would not deduct their benefit for that two month period. Griffith stated that this is his recommendation. Schutz asked if he had it right at roughly $500 per week for two months. Griffith agreed. Carpenter asked if this was after they use all of their sick leave and everything else. Griffith agreed. A motion was made by Anderson and seconded by Warner to adopt the unpaid leave policy and handbook change. AYES: Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith presented the Student Mental Health Re-Entry Policy. This is for students that come back after having a major mental trauma or attempted suicide or anything along those lines. This policy was provided by and recommended by our School Psychologist. This puts a plan in place and allows us to be involved in the student’s health decisions. A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to approve the Student Mental Health Re-Entry Policy. AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that they approved the $33,000 at the last meeting. The special education materials get reimbursed at a rate of about sixty percent from the state. This is material we need to help those students. This is replacing the Reading Assistant Program we have been using for those students. He usually adjusts for books at the beginning of the year, but this could be something that we wouldn’t get
here on time to start the year. This is also something that could fall in line with a lot of the students IEPs. Roskop asked if we just changed the quantity from 25 to 30 on everything we were ordering. Griffith agreed and stated that there were variations in the quantities per grade and they were not correct. This way we will have 30 for each class with a 6 year subscription. There was a request for additional quotes, but the only company that says McGraw Hill is McGraw Hill. The series was evaluated by the teaching staff and the curriculum committee working with all of the teachers in the elementary. Whipple asked if this was a six year subscription. Griffith confirmed it was a six year subscription. The online stuff is six years, the books we can have longer. It comes with both. The reason we had to change series is because the materials we had are no longer available. It was also time for English Language Arts. Whipple asked if we had already ordered 25. Griffith stated that they hung on to the order until it could be placed together. There was savings in doing that, mainly in shipping. A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Warner to approve the additional cost to the reading series WonderWorks for Special Needs students for $8,367.09 for K-6, $3,574.71 for the corrected book count and ($505.18) for shipping and handling for a total difference of $11,436.62. AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter. Motion carried 6-0.
Griffith stated that this is for 30 books each for 7th and 8th grade. It works for the series that has just been adopted for K-6. This should be the last one we will be doing for a while in English. The only one we don’t have books for is science. Whipple asked if this was six years as well. Griffith confirmed it was a six year subscription and everything the same as the other. A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Anderson to approve the English Language Arts Series for Grades 7-8 for a total of $7,423.32. AYES: Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, and Whipple. Motion carried 6-0.
Public Comment – No further discussion.
A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Carpenter to enter in to executive session for the protection of public interest at 8:49 pm. AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner. Motion carried 6-0.
A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Warner to exit executive session at 9:37 pm.
Finance Committee Meeting, Monday, June 11th, 2018 at 6:00 pm in Mr. Kronhofman’s Room.
Regular Board Meeting, Monday, June 11th, 2018 at 7:00 pm in Mr. Kronhofman’s Room. Transportation Committee Meeting, Monday, May 21st, 2018 at 7:30 am in the Superintendent’s Office. OAC Meeting, Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at 12:00 pm in the Hausmann Trailer.
Technology Committee Meeting, Friday, May 18th, 2018 at TBD in the Superintendent’s Office. A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to adjourn the meeting at 9:42 pm.
________________________ Respectfully submitted,
Cassie Hilker, Board Secretary