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Herington Schools USD 487

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IBB Minutes April 30, 2014






April 30, 2014


Bret Beye called to order the special meeting of the Board of Education of U.S.D. 487 at 5:00 p.m., April 30, 2014.  Present: Stacey Berndt, David Powell, Anna Gustafson, Amy Thibodeau, Jeanne’ Schantz, Ben Meyer, Deb Geissert, Megan Mein, Barb Kurtenbach, James Carnes, Patty Kahle, John Doern, Superintendent John Thissen and Clerk of the Board Robyn Heitfield.    


1.         ADOPT AGENDA                                                                                                                 Ben Meyer moved (Gustafson) to adopt the agenda.  Motion carried 7-0.                          

2.         IBB MEETING                                                                                                                     Mr. Thissen updated the committee regarding health insurance information he received from ESSDACK.  He was pleased to announce there was no plan to increase premiums for next year nor would the deductibles be changing.  He reiterated the information was pending board approval by ESSDACK but it looked promising.

            Mr. Thissen announced the resignation of Dirk Canon as Assistant Principal/AD.  With the resignation an additional supplemental might be added if the board chose not to fill the position for next year. 


Additional issues were added to the list:

3J.  Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Health Occupations Students

       of America (HOSA) (new supplementals added to the list)


16.  Due Process (Continue relationship between the board and teachers by allowing due process language in the Negotiated Agreement)


  • Due to passage of new finance bill effective July 1, 2014
  • Attract new teachers
  • After July 1, 2014 the state will no longer require due process for tenured teachers
  • “Local control”


17.  Activities Director Supplemental (add supplemental to Negotiated Agreement)


  • Compensation outside of contract day
  • Current staff
  • Discussion after May board meeting


18.  Parent/Teacher Conferences for MS/HS (different focus on discussions with parents during conferences)


  • Less about grades more about career pathways
  • Parents see grades on Skyward
  • Educate staff in explaining pathways to parents

            This issue is an administrative direction rather than a negotiations issue.  The board will give direction to Mr. Thissen on this issue.


Discussion began on issues from the previous meeting.  The supplemental committee that was formed during the last IBB meeting gave the following recommendations:

Remove the following supplementals from the Negotiated Agreement:

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • ITV Room Facilitator
  • Drama Club Sponsor
  • Wrestling Cheerleader Sponsor



       *Change the supplemental to 1% of base.

3B. Minimum number of participants required for program.

       *Numbers should be left alone as they do reflect logic and seem to be working.  They just need to be enforced each season.

3C. Number of class sponsors for high school classes

       *Leave these numbers alone

3D. NCA terminology

       *Change name to District Improvement Team (DIT)

       *Three members for each building at 1% of the base

3E. Weightlifting Terminology

       *change names to Boys Weightlifting and Girls Weightlifting

3F.  ITV Room Facilitator

        *Remove supplemental

3G. Continuing Education for Sponsors

       *This is not a negotiation issue as stated in the previous minutes.

3H. Annual Evaluation of Sponsors/Coaches

       *Concerns were voiced:

            • Already have trouble filling all positions

            • Evaluation could be difficult if the AD position is not filled

Mr. Thissen sent out a request for information on KSDE’s listserv to all superintendents.  The replies were 50-50 as to schools that do evaluations vs. schools that do not.  He received packets from some that included an evaluation page and a job description of each supplemental.

3I.  Automatic Increases for Longevity

       * This is a very minimal amount for all supplementals.  No change will be made. 


       * Similar in function and scope to FCCLA – 3% of base


     * Similar in function and scope to FCCLA – 3% of base


4.   Differential Contracts (MS/HS Band and Vocal)

      * More information is needed for vocal.  Mr. Thissen will inquire as to what duties   are outside of the contract day.  The differential will remain the same for this year and the instructor will be given the opportunity to grow the program.  This issue will be revisited next year.

      * Band will remain the same.  Much time spent outside contract day for pep band.


5.   Extended Contracts for Counselors

      *Revise to read:  K-6 Counselor      Eighteen (18) days @ per diem rate

                                 7-12 Counselor     Eighteen (18) days @ per diem rate


6.   Faculty Meetings

      *There is already a give and take system in place.  Language is not necessary to be added to the Negotiated Agreement.  No change.


7.   Shared Leave Language

      *Consensus was the committee liked the way shared leave was handled this year for a new teacher.  No change.


8.   Administrative Evaluations

      *Ideas were thrown around for discussion.

  • McRel can be used by teachers to evaluate building principals.  It can be set up different than teacher evaluations.   
  • A survey instrument could be used.  A series of questions could be produced for the survey. Teachers and principals would be involved in creating the questions.
  • Staff would evaluate the principal to be used for self-reflection but not taken into consideration for the superintendent’s evaluation for them.

Ultimately, this is a board decision in which members expressed interest in pursuing it.


9.   Planning Time

      *This needs to be researched further since common core is new territory.  A decision can’t be made based on the first year.  More studying will be done.


10. Compensation When No Sub is Available

      *This year with the lack of available subs, elementary teachers are leaving their class to teach another grade forcing the other teacher within that grade level to teach both classes.  Sub pay can be given either all day or half day to the teacher who teaching both classes.


11. Teacher evaluations

      *There is not enough information on the evaluation to help improve teaching.


  • Growth for teachers
  • Self-improvement
  • Process
  • Consistency
  • Overall school improvement
  • Student benefits


  1. Continue with education of training of administration and teachers to use McRel
  2. Make sure process is followed
  3. Educate the teachers on the instrument that each piece may not apply
  4. Two different evaluators
  5. Open communication between evaluator and teacher
  6. Every evaluation leads to clear individual positive growth

After more discussion on the options it was agreed all options are Ratifiable.  No language will be put into the Negotiated Agreement but these options will be utilized.


12. Heat

      *Measures have already been taken to address this issue.


13. Substitute Pay

      *This issue will be considered and measures will be taken to hopefully rectify this issue for next year.


14. Parent Contact Time

      *Many parents do not get involved so students are left on their own.  SIT as well as other options have been put in place to expand communication.  David Powell suggested paying extra duty for teachers to try and make more contact with parents after the school day.  Many in the committee were not comfortable with this idea.  One idea that has been done in other districts is to have dinners during the school year.  Meals appear to be a good way to get people in the community together.  Members asked Mr. Thissen to find out from other superintendents methods their teachers are using to make contact with parents and how often they do this.    


15. Early Payment for New Hires

      *Communication with new hires is very important.  A suggestion was made to include a welcome packet from the Chamber office when sending contracts to new hires.  Included with the packet would be information from HEA.  At this time contact would be made with the new hire to see if a partial payment is necessary.  This would be done on an individual basis.  Other ideas included helping new teachers move into the community by recruiting people to help them with the moving process.


            Mr. Thissen shared information with the committee on numbers received from the state on the new finance bill.  Based on current enrollment, the district would receive an estimated $125,000 for next year.  He did caution however that our district has seen enrollment decline each year so by using the current trend, the district may see $50,000 less.  Other increases for next year include Special Ed assessment increase of $16,000-17,000.  Actual increase in funding would be more like $58,000-60,000. 

            He also shared the Council Grove and Rural Vista superintendents met with him in recent days.  They are looking for ways to share resources. 


 The next meeting is scheduled for June 4, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. at the district office.


3.         ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                 At 8:00 p.m., Bret Beye declared the meeting adjourned.    






Robyn Heitfield, Clerk of Board of Education


Attest: ____________________________________

            Bret Beye, President


Date:  _____________________________________