EACSD Board of Directors approves contracts and wage increases for staff among discussion of other matters

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) was held at Kee High School in Lansing Monday, May 20. The meeting was called to order by Board President Heather Schulte. Board members present included Bobbie Goetzinger, Melanie Mauss and Heather Schulte, with board members Bruce Palmborg and Kelli Mudderman absent. Also present at the meeting were EACSD Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier, New Albin Elementary Principal Chad Steckel and Board Secretary Marian Verdon.

After the agenda was unanimously adopted, the Board held a public hearing on the 2018-2019 budget amendment which increased the budget in the non-instruction program area. With no public comment on the proposed budget amendment for 2018-2019, the amendment passed unanimously during the regular session of the board meeting.

Corey Snitker, Emergency Management Coordinator for Allamakee County, reviewed with the board the Priority Action Lists for School Districts. He indicated that updating and improving the emergency response plan was one of the top priorities for school districts. He would be willing to offer additional assistance and recommendations per the district’s request.

Since there was no old business, the board moved on to new business, including accepting the resignations of Ellie Cooper from her assistant softball coach position and Joseph Bailey from his position as Spanish teacher. A contract was approved for Kendra Cooper to fill that assistant softball coach position, and a 2019-2020 contract was also approved for Julieta Castillo Ocampo to fill the position of Spanish teacher and Spanish Club sponsor, including a signing bonus agreement.

The board authorized the acceptance of bids for propane at the June board meeting. Another approval included the purchase of a telephone system for the New Albin Elementary at a cost of $5,350.80. The next approval was for the district’s revised Wellness Policy, the Wellness Policy Progress Report document and the Wellness Policy Preamble and Committee Members document.

In other business, the board supported a resolution that adopts the return-to-play protocol as established by the Iowa Department of Public Health, listed in the 641 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 14. In addition, the board discussed a shared social worker with Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA).

The Department of Education has included social worker on the list of operational function personnel that can be shared with other districts or the AEA.

Dr. Crozier discussed with the board the possibility of using operational sharing for a social worker in the district. If the district would have the opportunity to share a social worker, the position would be for one day a week and would generate funding through supplemental weighting.

The board approved a contract renewal for the Eastern Allamakee Education Association two-year contract extension as presented: for the 2020-2121 school year, a two-percent total package increase; for the 2021-2022 school year, a two-percent total package increase; and for the 2022-2023 school year, negotiate the total package. In addition to the proposal, the district is informing the following: The board is not intending to change the current handbook. If there are circumstances beyond the district’s control, changes in law, or other circumstances change, the board still maintains the right to alter or change the handbook.

Administration wage increases were approved with  a 2.0% wage increase for Elementary Principal Chad Steckel, High School Principal Mary Hogan, Business Managers Janet Heiderscheit and Marian Verdon, and Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant Michele Martin.

Principal Steckel reported professional development is being addressed for the 2019-2020 school year. Once again, in August, teachers from EACSD and MFL/MarMac will collaborate with a joint professional development in-service day using a poverty simulation. Summer school will again be offered to individual students.

Dr. Crozier informed the board the district would continue to be a member of the Rural School Advocate of Iowa (RSAI) organization. Each year RSAI asks districts to identify three or four areas of legislative concern. The board directed Dr. Crozier to identify EACS’s top legislative priorities for the 2019-2020 school year and provide them to RSAI.

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