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Richland School Board June 4th Meeting

Teacher compensation was again a topic of conversation at the Richland School Board meeting Monday evening, June 4th.

Laura Huth, a special education teacher at Doudna Elementary School, made a presentation during public comment at last night. She said her presentation was made on behalf of all concerned teachers in the district to create awareness on the strengths and weaknesses of the current salary schedule and compensation plan. Huth said she was speaking out for teachers to avoid losing any more quality educators to neighboring districts. Concerns include the current pay scale used when hiring new teachers, allows the new hire to have higher pay than teachers who have devoted multiple years to the district. One example given was a new teacher being paid the same amount as a ten year veteran teacher. Another teacher within the district with five years experience was notified that a new hire coming in with five years of experience would be making $4,000 more than the current teacher. The discrepancy comes from the result of Act 10 passed in 2011. Huth said that the teaching staff understands it takes time to make adjustments, however, it's felt changes need to be addressed now. Huth said teachers are not only losing income, but more importantly, moral in the district is being destroyed.

School Board members continued their Strategic Planning discussion with a focus on communication and input from the public. The hope is to have actual solutions and plans to come out of the committees with input from the community. Smart goals would be developed by the committee made up of board members, staff, and community. The board will have final approval on the Smart goals and the administrative plans for implementing them.

Positive year end reports were given by building principals. The middle school saw improvement in its culture. At Doudna the Journey reading program was a positive improvement for students. Jefferson and Lincoln saw a 96% improvement in math and a 94% improvement in reading.

The Richland School Board also approved several action items at last night’s meeting. They include: revisions to the 300 series of policies due to changes in the law as well as changing times; a grant application for the state of Wisconsin School Safety Grant; the extension of 1280 contract hours for the 2018-19 school year. The time is for work done in July and August 2018 and June 2019. An addendum to the employee handbook for 2018-19 was approved to reflect the savings in the healthcare coverage. The board also approved an agreement for the Special Education Electronic Data Systems 4 Schools through CESA 6 for 2018-19 at an annual cost of $3,080. Also approved were the student fees for both the middle and high school for 2018-19.

Gifts to the school district were officially accepted by the school board. The gifts include: the donation fo $8,655 from the Joan Woodman Orton McCollum Foundation to the high school band toward the purchase of new uniforms; 90 passes to Symons Recreation Complex valued at $270 to Doudna Elementary as incentives for the READO Program; and the donation of $500 from CESA 3 toward the middle school Snack Packs for Backpacks Program.

Three coordinators were also approved by the Richland School Board. They are: Austin Jones as Health Education Coordinator and Kathy Gutknecht and Carol Hilleshiem as Mentor Coordinators for the next school year.