District 10 extends superintendent contract

Trustees boost sub custodian pay

Glen Johnson’s contract as superintendent for School District 10 was automatically renewed with little comment Monday evening for three years, effective Feb. 1.

The unanimous vote on the superintendent’s contract was taken at the District 10 Board of Trustees’ regular monthly meeting. Though the board normally meets on the second Tuesday of the month, the February meeting was rescheduled last month to accommodate trustees’ schedules.

According to Board Chairman Jed Peterson, the superintendent’s contract is written to allow such renewal without a formal vote following a satisfactory evaluation, as long as there are no changes to the document. Johnson’s evaluation was conducted privately during the regular board meeting Jan. 14. “I think it went well,” Peterson said of the nearly two-hour evaluation session.

The trustees voted to increase substitute custodian pay as the first part of a pay proposal for most substitute positions.

The board also reviewed the 3000 section of its policy manual covering such areas as school attendance, dress codes, weapons, immunizations and alcohol, drug and tobacco use. Most of the policies have already been in place, Johnson said, and some have been mandated by the state legislature or the Office of Public Instruction, including a provision setting the minimum compulsory school attendance age at 18.

No action was taken on a recommendation to dissolve the Dillon Elementary Education Foundation. The proposal to do so, written by Carol Skiles on behalf of herself and Becki Casey, the only other remaining officer, is based on the foundation’s current inactive status.

The organization has cash assets of about $8,500, but since its creation in 2003, interest has tapered off to “an all-time low,” Skiles wrote in her report. It is not clear whether the trustees actually have any authority to dissolve the foundation, so the board tabled the matter to allow further investigation.

Johnson said the issue is not urgent and suggested the money in the foundation’s account could be advanced “for some useful purpose.”

In one of the few formal votes taken during the meeting, the trustees unanimously approved a motion by Trustee Mike Telling to increase the pay for substitute custodians to $10 an hour. The increase was requested by Johnson, who said the previous rate of $8 was not competitive with the Beaverhead High School District, making it difficult to hire in times of need.

“We’re really having a hard time getting sub janitors,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s proposal also includes pay increases for other staff substitutes – certified teachers, paraprofessionals and school lunch workers – though no action was taken for those positions. He recommended that the raises be part of the 2014-2015 budget.

Under his plan, substitute teacher pay would increase from $60 a day to $70 for those who are certified. Wages for substitute paraprofessionals and lunch workers would increase from $7.90 an hour to $8 an hour. BCHS currently pays all substitutes for classified positions $10 an hour, and pays substitute teachers $87.50 a day, Johnson stated in a written report to the board.

Also tabled was creation of a more specific policy regarding building use by outside organizations and initiating a process for long-term planning for the school district.

In regard to last Thursday’s cancellation of school bus service throughout the county, Johnson noted that about 22 percent of the students were absent that day; however, nearly half of those stayed home sick, so the actual number missing because of the bus issue amounted to about 12 percent.

Johnson also told the trustees that the Office of Public Instruction is considering reclassifying School District 10 to Class I status. That designation is reserved for districts with populations of at least 6,500, and among other things would mean adding two more seats to the school board. He said he hopes the change does not come to pass.

In his superintendent’s report, Johnson reminded the trustees that two three-year board positions, currently held by Kathy Hilton and Nicole Andersen, will be up for election in May. Persons interested in filing for the election may pick up nominating petition forms at the district office.