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Herington Schools USD 487

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IBB January 30, 2013






January 30, 2013


Bret Beye called to order the special meeting of the Board of Education of U.S.D. 487 at 5:00 p.m., January 30, 2013.  Present: Ben Meyer, Rod Erickson, David Powell, Anna Gustafson, Deb Geissert, Barb Kurtenbach, Lyneva Bryan, Megan Mein, Patty Kahle, Superintendent John Thissen and Clerk of the Board Robyn Heitfield.  Stacey Berndt joined the meeting at 5:04 p.m.  Patty Kahle joined at 5:15 p.m.  Absent:  Alan Stuart and James Carnes. 


1.         ADOPT AGENDA         David Powell moved (Meyer) to adopt the agenda.  Motion carried 5-0.                           

2.         IBB MEETING             John Doern with the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service was not able to attend due to weather conditions. 

            Ground rules were reviewed.  An addition will be made at the beginning of the ground rules.  PURPOSE:  To work together for the betterment of the district.  This is not board members or teachers.  This is a team effort.  There will be no individual agendas.


            Mr. Thissen explained the anticipated revenue shortfall with the 2013-14 budget.  Members were conscious of the scheduled budget cuts that would likely occur to offset this decline in revenue.


Budget 2012-13 (actual)                  Budget 2013-14 (estimate)*           Deficit

                 $4,490,765                                     $4,076,279                   = <$414,500>


* This estimate is based on the following:

  1. State funding formula used in declining enrollment the last 3 years <$196,000>

                        2010-11  30 less kids from previous year

                        2011-12  20 less kids from previous year

                        2012-13  10 less kids from previous year

  1. Loss of new facilities weighting (two year program only)  <$218,500>




QZAB Payment (last payment was made in December 2012)  = $55,000

Transfer less from GF and LOB to special funds(1 year only)= $100,000

Contingency Reserve (possibly two years)                              = $100,000

Personnel (not replacing all retirements)             = $100,000 to $150,000

                                                                                                 Savings   $405,000


These two figures could cancel each other out for one year and partially for the 2014-15 budget year with the exception of transfers. 



Salaries (all USD 487 staff)

Steps and columns only w/admin and classified same % increase = $24,640

Add $500 to base w/ admin and classified same % increase          = $61,100

Add $1,000 to base w/admin and classified same % increase        = $99,500


            Mr. Thissen talked with a representative of ESSDACK and although the district has seen no increase in health insurance over the last two budget years, the intent of ESSDACK is to use their own reserve and absorb any premium increase so they would not have to pass it on the districts.  

            There are other options to cut spending as listed on the cut list created 4 years ago.  A couple of these options are:

  1. After School Program – an estimated $30,000 could be saved if this program was cut.  At Risk funding is used to continue this program so this would not add money to the General Fund.
  2. In Town Bussing – The district does not receive any funding for a student that lives less than 2.5 miles from the school so eliminating most of the in town bussing would save a considerable amount on wages, fuel etc.


            Issues left open from the previous year:

Sick Leave Buyback upon Retirement

            Mr. Thissen contacted several area districts as to whether they had a policy on buying back sick leave when an employee retires:

  • Marion -       $25/day (must be employed by district 15 yrs)

                                             Also pay $100/year notification bonus for years in the district

  • Hillsboro -    $25/day (must be employed by district 15 yrs)

                                              Nothing for notification bonus

  • McPherson – $45/day no stipulation on years in district (can accrue up to

                      75 days)

  • Great Bend - $25/day no stipulation on years in district


The following issues were listed:

  1. Sick Leave Buyback
  1. Pay out upon retirement
  1. Combine MS and HS Wrestling Programs
  1. Similar to the track program
  1. Salary
  2. Insurance
  3. Evaluation
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Protection of Personal Days
  1. Allow dock days to be used before exhausting all personal days
  1. Extended Contract with Vocational Ed Coordinator


  1. Parent/Teacher Conferences
  1. This year as compared to previous year
  2. Covering teacher absences
  1. Length of Contract
  2. Length of Days Per Year
  1. Tie to calendar committee work
  1. Extra Duty Pay
  2. New Teacher Mentoring Program
  3. Early Retirement Language

            How it is worded and interpreted


The group began discussion on specific issues.


   14. Early Retirement Language

            The following requirement is listed under Eligibility (pg 12)

                a) is currently a full-time employee

            Confirmation of what qualifies as a full-time employee was requested.  A full time employee is an employee that works 30 hours or more per week during the school year.  This is a requirement to be eligible for insurance throughout employment so this requirement carries over to be eligible if an employee retires before 65.  An employee will be eligible for insurance upon retirement if they are covered at the time of retirement.  There cannot be a lapse in coverage.   


   13. New Teacher Mentoring Program (pg 11)

            Concerns were expressed as to the guidance new teachers receive upon entering the district.  Currently, new teachers arrive two days prior to all staff coming in for training on procedures, policy and other minimal information.  A first and second year teacher is assigned a mentor teacher for support.  The district uses Smoky Hill as a resource for new and mentor teachers.  Workshops are attended by both teachers during the year.  This support is still minimal.  Mr. Thissen will communicate with Smoky Hill to see what additional measures can be taken to make our program stronger.  Additional training for the mentor teachers is also desired.  A “how to” list could be developed and given to new teachers as a guide.  This issue will move to the parking lot.      


    8. Extended Contract with Vocational Ed Coordinator (pg 14)

            This issue was brought to Mr. Thissen’s attention last year when contracts were generated.  With Vocational Ed teachers creating their own pathways, a coordinator was no longer necessary.  This was not included in with the regular teaching contract and therefore was not paid out for the 2011-12 school year.  It will be removed from the list under Extended Contracts in the Negotiated Agreement (pg 4).            


   12. Extra Duty Pay (pg 3)

            A concern was brought to members as to what can and cannot be considered extra duty pay.  One example was the elementary DARE program held in the evening.  Because it was not on the list of approved extra duty pay, it was assumed it could not be reported.  Classroom teachers were required to attend.  This could be identified as an administrative assignment and therefore would qualify for extra duty pay.  Instead of listing individual assignments within the Negotiated Agreement, the group agreed that better direction should be given to building administration as to what administrative assignments can include.


    1. Sick Leave Buyback

            This issue will go to the parking lot until the value of other benefits is determined.


    2. Combine Middle School/High School Wrestling Program

            It has become a challenge to find and maintain coaches.  As the programs currently stand, even though separate contracts are issued, coaches are generally involved in working with both.  There would be no additional cost in combining the programs and it would be formed the same way as the track program.  This issue will be put in the parking lot.  Mr. Thissen will add staffing for supplementals on the board meeting agenda.     


3.         ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                 At 7:40 p.m., Bret Beye declared the meeting adjourned.    













Robyn Heitfield, Clerk of Board of Education


Attest: ____________________________________

            Bret Beye, President


Date:  _____________________________________