Lamar School Board Approves Personnel and Policy Revisions

Minor revisions to various school policies were approved by Lamar RE-2 school district board members during the August 9 monthly meeting.  As explained by Superintendent Dave Tecklenburg, the revisions were upgrades from CASB policies and no major policy revisions were involved.  On the same note, board members approved student handbooks for Washington, Parkview and Lamar Middle School.  The handbooks reflect the board’s policies for the district.  Posting a district vacation calendar was suggested by board member, Tim Wheaton in light of policy changes, and Tecklenburg discussed which staff members should report for work during weather related school closings.  The superintendent also stated that guidelines will be available for district staff regarding policies for social media and facebook use. 

Superintendent Tecklenburg noted increases in workmen’s compensation claims over the past several years, to the point where the district may be placed on a probationary status.  He noted that in one year, claims increased from $9,300 to $114,000.  He said the cost of premiums has stayed level with last year, but noted that there are about 30 fewer employees for the 2011-2012 year.  Tecklenburg suggested the district take advantage of a training program to improve the claim process and upgrade the district’s status.  Board president, Ron Peterson, said he was familiar with those programs which should aid the compensation process and help make it speedier. 

On other budget notes, the board approved the fuel bid for Wallace Gas and Oil for the 2011-2012 school year, and discussed the need to find a replacement bus for special education students.  The current bus, a 1992 model, will probably last the year, Tecklenburg said, but the board needs to start looking for a used replacement.   In another cost-cutting move, the board discussed how many members should attend the annual CASB convention in Colorado Springs the first week in December.  The meeting is held at the Broadmoor Convention Center, and the board discussed having members stay at a less expensive hotel.  Traditionally, new members attend the meetings, and with director elections this November, the number of persons attending may alter.   

Washington Elementary School Principal, Kenny Davis, reviewed his recommendations with the board for a standards based report card for Washington students.  Board members approved the project in which the cards will be based on a grading grid which will provide parents with a results-based report on how well their students are performing in reading/math and social studies/science categories.  Davis said he would keep the board posted on how well the new program is working.  The board also discussed the need to continue to pick up and bus students from the Lincoln School area.  Superintendent Tecklenburg suggested the pick up point be as safe a location as possible from traffic, as there will be no supervision for students given the school’s closing this year.  

In other action, the board recommended that given the exceedingly tight budget, future wood shop projects be paid for by students.  An estimated $15,000 is spent each year by the district on wood for the student projects.  Superintendent Tecklenburg said he’s working with the county on a grant for radios required in the district by next June in order to be in compliance with National Incident Management policies.  The emergency radios would tie in various frequencies for the schools and administration office.  This would allow better communication with city and county emergency responders during any type of emergency.

By Russ Baldwin


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