Board offers contracts to district staff

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After a lengthy executive session, the Mobridge-Pollock School Board approved the tentative negotiated agreement for staff and administrators in the district.

The contracts will be offered to the staff along with a letter of intent to rehire education support staff (Para-professional, custodial, food service, etc) Monday, April 23.

The contract between the Mobridge-Pollock School District and the Mobridge-Pollock Education Association for the 2012-2013 school year was ratified on Thursday, March 22.

Negotiated changes include: changes in school hours (adding 10 minutes per day to the required after-school time teachers must stay at their schools); teachers’ reimbursement procedures for professional membership; changes in the language for persona leave/extenuating circumstances employee health and welfare benefit (approval by the administration first); language change on when support staff must turn in timesheets (by a set time to aid in administration of payroll); and a $5 raise for each level of substitute teacher pay. The tentative contract also includes a $1,100 bonus and a 1.8 percent raise in salary for certified staff members. All support staff will receive a $700 bonus, prorated based on their percentage of full-time employment and length of time worked during the 2011-2012 school year, and a 30-cent raise per hour.

The board approved offering a contract to Nathan Lamb of Watertown as a middle school teacher and football coach.
The board also approved the resignations of Mike Norder as an assistant track coach; Karyl Knudson as the Elementary math intervention teacher; Jamie Odde as the middle school and upper elementary volleyball coach (provided a suitable replacement is found); Bo R. Seacrest as middle school wrestling coach and Dan Merkel as assistant football coach.

Changes in athletics
Proposed changes in athletics will be put to vote at a meeting with South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) in Pierre April 17 and 18. Mobridge-Pollock Athletic Director Joe Lenz will attend those meetings.

He told the board he would represent the school and the administration and vote based on the discussions and feedback he has had with the coaches and the administration.

Proposed changes to 2013-2014 that would impact Mobridge-Pollock athletics include the SDHSAA assigning officials for each game during the football season. This is to ensure all schools have a chance at getting officials for their games.
Also teams that play a football game the first week of the season, as Mobridge-Pollock does, can start practice one week earlier.

There will be one more weigh-in added to the schedule for the B schools. This would allow another tournament to be scheduled on an off-week.

South Dakota schools will adopt the use of three-colored panel volleyball.

Class A district tournaments in volleyball and girls and boys basketball will be discontinued. Two districts would comprise one region and have one tournament. In regions having eight teams, they would be seeded one through eight. In regions with seven teams the number one seed would have a bye in the tournament. Lenz said this change would impact Mobridge-Pollock the most of any school because of the extended travel.

“This change has the support of nearly everyone but schools in our region,” Lenz told the board. “Realistically we may have to travel 500 miles (round trip) on a Tuesday night.”

Core standards
The district is mandated by the state to submit a professional development plan to the Department of Education by May, Frederick told the board. The professional development is required to give teachers on all levels the skills and opportunities to receive training and to critically understand the curriculum of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is the mandated effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards in English language arts and mathematics for grades kindergarten through 12th grade. The standards are designed to reflect the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers.

Frederick told the board there would be development sessions held in several locations throughout the state, including Mobridge, during the summer. He said it would be best to be able to have all of the elementary, special education and title teachers take the training while it is being held in Mobridge. The problem is coordinating the times the teachers are available and the session needed for their level of teaching. Each group will be taught at a different site and time.

“We could bring someone in from the state to do the training in-house as we do have professional development days in our calendar,” Frederick told the board. “There is a $125 stipend per day when we send a teacher to the training and I believe it would be at a lower cost to bring a trainer here.”

He said principals are not required to attend the session, but they will be required to evaluate the teachers. The manner in which they do that evaluation is up in the air.

The core standards will be implemented through out the state in the school year 2014-2015.

Frederick told the board there would be a plan in place for review at the May board meeting.

– Katie Zerr –

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