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The Natrona County School District’s Staffing Standing Committee met on December 4. The meeting began with comments/concerns from representatives from each of the four employee associations. The comments are as follows:
– Many items still being worked on and discussed, but nothing ready to come forward yet.
– Began the discussion about leadership units – made requests to schools to determine how leadership units are being used district-wide.
– Discussed with maintenance the possibility of seasonal maintenance support during the summer. The maintenance department hopes to present a draft plan soon.
– Discussed issues relating to the need for more tutors
– Discussed priority points from previous Staffing Committee meetings – NCEA members at the most recent meeting were pleased with the direction this particular committee is headed.
– Discussed the need for summer school help, outside of the calendar (temporary)
– No new issues to bring forward at this time.
After hearing association comments, the group heard an update on the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program. The program, currently only at Paradise Valley Elementary, has recently been supported by the Board of Trustees for expansion – meaning the program will go from Kindergarten to 1st Grade at PV. Also, other schools now have the option to pursue a DLI program. A misconception is circulating that schools that have a DLI program have a larger staff allocation. Associate Superintendent for Human Resources, Dr. Crystal Mueller, said that rumor is false. The allocation remains the same; the presence of a DLI program simply means the hiring requirements are different for teachers who will be employed in a DLI classroom.
After briefly discussing items in their “parking lot” the group moved on to items that require recommendations to the Superintendent early in 2014. Those two items are: 1) leadership units, and 2) special education staffing allocation. Other items, while important, will fall behind in priority to these two topics.
The group looked to answer the guiding questions that were drafted at the previous meeting. Those questions are as follows:
– Who is currently getting the leadership unit pay?
– What is the breakdown by schools of current leadership unit distribution?
– What is the total amount of money available in terms of coordinator pay, leader units, and SIAAR money?
– What positions are not being compensated, but should be?
– What are the leadership needs at the schools?
It was determined that the data has been compiled for the two first questions, and the total amount of available money is already known – $432,684.90. Currently, the roles that are compensated from the leadership unit money are: Building leadership, department chairs, extended leadership, building assessment coordinator, at-risk coordinator, school improvement, those who facilitate goal teams, and district coordinator. With the first four questions answered, the new fifth question became: What leadership work is compensated at the school level that doesn’t come out of that leadership unit money? From the principals present at the meeting it was determined that some schools compensate full-time employees to do leadership tasks, other have crisis management team responsibility, and some of these roles are compensated with building funds.
The committee then broke into several groups to come up with new suggestions on how to reallocate the total leadership unit fund. The groups had the following commonalities among their suggestions:
The next scheduled Staffing Committee meeting is on January 29, 2014.