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Herington Schools USD 487

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April 8, 2013 IBB minutes






April 8, 2013


Present: Ben Meyer, Bret Beye, Stacey Berndt, Deb Geissert, Barb Kurtenbach, Patty Kahle, James Carnes, John Doern, Superintendent John Thissen and Clerk of the Board Robyn Heitfield.  Lyneva Bryan joined at 5:50 p.m.  Absent:  Alan Stuart, Rod Erickson, David Powell, Anna Gustafson and Megan Mein. 


IBB MEETING                                                                                                                    

            Mr. Thissen expressed the desire to accomplish as much as possible other than salary and insurance.  The district has not received any renewal notification on health or dental premiums for the 2013-14 school year.  An increase is expected but the amount is unknown at this point.  Although insurance premiums increased the last two years, ESSDACK paid down those premiums with reserves so the increases were not passed on to the districts. 


Issues in red were agreed upon during the January meeting.


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
  2. 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




The group began discussion on specific issues.


5.  Evaluation

            Very few districts chose to build their own program.  Herington initially chose KEEP but it is still not ready and districts don’t have faith in the state to finalize the program in time.  The other four TEEN districts will implement McRel.  The majority of Smoky Hill districts will be using this tool as well.  The only downside of McRel is that there is a cost.  KEEP will start out as a no cost program.  The cost of our current evaluation tool PD360 combined with TalentEd compare in cost to McRel.  McRel is also truly based on a professional development plan.  A student contact day may need to be changed to an in-service day for 2013-14 so teachers can learn about McRel.


13.  New Teacher Mentoring Program

            A new teacher is defined as a teacher with no experience or an experienced teacher new to the district.  August 7 and 8 will be new teacher in-service days.  These teachers will be compensated for these days.  Extra duty sheets can be turned in.  Smoky Hill will provide the training for first and second year teachers at a cost to the district.  The state is no longer funding this program.  A suggestion was made to assign new teachers to a mentor within the building.  New elementary teachers will be assigned a mentor within their hallway.  Members would also like to see a handbook created for all new teachers coming into the district.  Suggestions and ideas would be made by current staff.  The handbook would identify procedures and “how tos” specific to this district.  It would be created as a read only file for all staff to have access to use as a review.


2.  Combine MS and HS Wrestling Programs

            This issue will be discussed at the April board meeting.


6.  Confidentiality

            According to John Doern, this issue cannot be included in the Negotiated Agreement since it in unenforceable.  However, he said it needs to be reiterated before each committee meeting.


7.  Protection of Personal Days

            Currently, staff is required to exhaust all accumulated leave prior to receiving a dock day.  Some members would like the option of keeping personal days and taking a dock day instead.  Because the board buys back personal days not used at the end of each school year, an employee could still be paid for this if they chose not to use these days during the school year.  No change will be made.


9.  Parent/Teacher Conferences

            Mr. Thissen asked teachers to share how spring parent/teacher conferences went since making the change last year. 

  1. Elementary - Phone contacts were not as meaningful.  Parents felt the meetings should have happened in the school setting since it was more personal.  Preference by teachers was to go back to two nights of parent/teacher conferences.
  2. MS/HS – Teachers felt face to face conferences work best.  They suggested having the fall conference in the high school gym as in the past.  However, they would like to see the spring conference held in each of their classrooms.  Because this is only 2 evenings during the school year, the group suggests teachers, sponsors and coaches do a better job in making themselves available to the parents for those nights.


10.  Length of Contract

            State law declares when reporting hours of classroom time, a district is required to report the smallest amount of hours by a group.  In most cases, that group is the seniors.  Minimum hours reported must be at least 1080 hours.  Snow days affect total contact hours in a school year.  Teachers have not been required to “make up” snow days even though legally they can be made to do so by working an in-service day to fulfill the signed contract of 183 days.  Contract days will remain the same.


11.  Length of Days per Year

            Much of the school calendar is based on KSHSAA.  No change will be made.


  1. Sick Leave Buyback   

The committee chose to drop this issue and concentrate more on salary.


The meeting concluded at 7:10 p.m.  The next meeting will be Wednesday, May 22 at 5:00 p.m.





Robyn Heitfield, Clerk of Board of Education


Date:  _____________________________________