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Herington Schools USD 487

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IBB minutes of March 4, 2015






March 4, 2015


Ben Meyer called to order the special meeting of the Board of Education of U.S.D. 487 at 5:00 p.m., March 4, 2015.  Present: Anna Gustafson, Amy Thibodeau, Jeanne’ Schantz, Deb Geissert, Patty Kahle, Leah Roth, John Doern, Superintendent John Thissen and Clerk of the Board Robyn Heitfield.  Barb Kurtenbach joined the meeting at 5:35 p.m.  Megan Mein joined at 6:30 p.m.  Absent:  Bret Beye, Stacey Berndt and Katharina Mascareno.


1.         ADOPT AGENDA      Anna Gustafson moved (Thibodeau) to adopt the agenda.  Motion carried 4-0.                                 

2.         IBB MEETING          Ground rules were reviewed.  Currently, there are 13 members; 7 board members, 5 HEA members and Mr. Thissen.

            Mr. Thissen gave a brief statement on his thoughts with legislation and proposed bills.  A bill was introduced where the only items that could be negotiated were salary and insurance.  The bill was amended to allow each side to list five additional issues aside from salary and insurance.  If passed, it would apply to next year’s negotiations for the 2016-17 school year. 

            Mr. Thissen updated the group regarding the Block Grant Bill introduced by legislatures.  If passed, Herington will receive an estimated $35,000 less this year with additional cuts possible in April.  There will likely be $160,000 less in state funding for the 2015-16 school year.   


The following issues were listed:

  1. Salary
  • Less funding with added costs. 
  • Salina special education cooperative will be requesting $15,000 more in assessments for the 2015-16 school year.  The state is providing less money to the cooperatives and the number of students identified with special needs continues to increase.
  1. Insurance
  • Mr. Thissen received an email from ESSDACK.  They are estimating a 4-6% increase in insurance premiums.  Coverage will remain the same.
  1. Collaboration vs. In-Service
  • Combine into one
  • Would have more flexibility if called in service
  1. Supplementals
  • Analyze Activities Director and supervision rolls from current year
  • Create supplemental or continue with current arrangement


  1. Sick Leave
  • Additional increments available to use
  • Pertains to sick leave only
  • Currently if staff leaves for one hour for doctor appointment they are required to take half day of sick
  1. Due Process
  • Language in contract to ensure “fair dismissal” to teachers
  • Bound by neutral 3rd party mediator
  • Intensive assistance program included in language
  • Teacher given opportunity for help prior to dismissal
  1. Teacher Evaluation
  • Teachers made aware of changes to process or current tool
  • Continued training for teachers
  1. Differential Contracts
  • Movement added where elementary and middle/high school work together
  • Revisit vocal time used outside of the classroom for grades 6-12

   9.   Extended Contract

  • Revisit FFA sponsor contract
  • Is 10 days sufficient
  • How much time spent with community garden in the summer
  • Building counselor discussion


Discussion began with listing interests after finding an issue that didn’t pertain to money.


3.  Collaboration vs. In-Service


  • Proper utilization of time
  • Time for teachers to collaborate
  • Time for training
  • Flexibility of the two within the calendar year
  • Allocation of time


            1.  Status quo

            2.  Split days and identify separately

            3.  Each collaboration day includes one hour of in service

            4.  Add more days of in-service and collaboration and less contact days

            5.  Add ore contract days

            6.  Student release at 1:00 p.m. instead of 1:30 p.m.

            7.  All in-service.  Teacher representatives from each building and building aministration will meet and identify predetermined sessions two weeks in advance.  Collaboration day on the first day of school will remain.



            WORK            AFFORD/COST         RATIFY                  COMMENTS

1.             Y                             Y                           Y                      Solves nothing

2.             Y                             Y                           Y              

3.             Y                             Y                           Y              

4.             Y                             Y                           N              

5.             Y                             N                           N              

6.             Y                             Y                           Y         Irrelevant/doesn’t pertain to issue   

7.            Y                              Y                            Y                     Chosen by committee



3.         ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                 At 7:50 p.m., Ben Meyer declared the meeting adjourned.    



Robyn Heitfield, Clerk of Board of Education


Attest: ____________________________________

            Ben Meyer, Vice-President


Date:  _____________________________________