By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
School board members hired a first-year teacher last week for CCS’s family and consumer science teaching position.
Chelsie Clapp of Kearney, a native of McCook, will replace Cathy Hanna in the position that teaches grade 7-12 students. She will also serve as FCCLA advisor as Hanna had.
With her hiring at the board’s May 13 meeting, Supt. Brad Schoeppey said filling of all open certificated teaching positions for 2014-15 is now complete. Five current staff members are retiring or submitted resignations effective the end of this school year.
However, he noted there are still some teacher assistant positions yet to fill, including two whose resignations were also accepted last week.
Clapp graduated in December 2013 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.S. degree in secondary education family and consumer science. She earned an associate’s degree in 2011 from Mid-Plains Community College.
Since January, she has worked as Head Toddler 1 Teacher at Smiling Faces and Happy Hands Academy in Kearney.
ELL staff increased
In other staffing matters, Supt. Schoeppey told board members last week the school will be increasing its English Language Learners (ELL) program staff from one full-time teacher to one and a half.
However, with a shifting of personnel, the school’s FTE (full-time equivalency) of certificated staff will not increase, Schoeppey said.
Currently, Tom Hansen serves as full-time ELL teacher and will continue in that role. Virginia Harford will be lessening her duties next year in the High Ability Learners (HAL) program and move into the half-time ELL position. K-8 art teacher Lindsey Tomaso, who had some open time slots in her schedule, Schoeppey said, will move to part-time in the HAL program to cover Harford’s void.
There are currently 70 to 80 K-12 students in the school’s ELL program.
In other business on staffing, the board accepted resignations from Samie Johnson, library teacher assistant, and Lana Vlasin, special ed. teacher assistant.
The board also accepted teacher Jill Bauerle’s resignation as speech coach. In her letter, Bauerle indicated it has been difficult balancing that with her other extra-duty position as director for the one-act and spring plays, and her teaching of English.
Supt. Schoeppey said Alexandria Rettele, who was hired earlier as an English teacher, will be taking over the speech coaching duties.
Also resigning was CCS bus driver Wanda Westfahl.
Other school board business
After several months of consideration, the board approved a Sick Leave Bank Policy for CCS certificated and classified employees.
The policy, to start this fall, provides additional sick leave days to participating staff members when their allotted sick leave is exhausted. Participation is on a voluntary basis. Recipients cannot receive more than 30 sick day from the “bank” per 12-month period.
There are several restrictions on how the days can be used, including disability ad workman’s comp situations, maternity leave or for elective surgery. To participate, employees will donate one day of sick leave at the beginning of each school year. If the bank drops below 50 days, those with available days will be required to donate an additional day to the bank, which will never exceed a maximum of 200 days. A committee that includes the human resources secretary, the employee’s principal and an IEA representative will approve sick day bank requests.
Setting up bus pickup “hubs” is not as easy as anticipated, Supt. Schoeppey told board members. The “hub” option, in which parents would drive students to designated rural pickup spots, was a suggestion to help alleviate early bus pickup times. Supt. Schoeppey said the board could consider a “blended” program, using a “hub” option in some areas where it will work.
During the summer, rural parents will be surveyed on their plans for using rural bus service this fall so the school can get an idea on what students will need bus transportation. Board member Sheila Stromberger said parents should visit with board members now on their concerns and wishes.
School lunch and breakfast prices for next year were set as follows: Lunch will be $2.35 for K-6, $2.55 for 7-12 and $3.45 for adults, all increasing 10 cents over this year. Prices for breakfast, which will be expanded next year and include occasional hot food items through the federal government program, will be $1.30 for K-12 and $1.50 for adults.
Driver’s ed. classes will cost students $160 this summer, up $10 over last year’s fee. The price charged students represents about 50 percent of the program cost, said Supt. Schoeppey. Gary Johnson of Tryon will again teach the summer course.
One change was made in the 2014-15 school calendar approved at an earlier meeting this year. It moves the May 8 teacher in-service day to Oct. 13 to coincide with an ESU 15 in-service. Staff will return that day from the in-service for CCS parent-teacher conferences that evening.