Salary increases have been approved for Trenton R-9 school district employees for next year.
The board of education last night approved an increase that is a little more than what the Superintendent recommended and a little less than what a teachers'group had proposed. Superintendent Becky Albrecht presented her proposed last evening while the teachers group, led by Lynn Griffin, continued with their proposalas it had been presented last month.
The point of contention was the teachers' request for a five percent raise for each cell of the salary schedule versus the Superintendent's offer of a one thousand dollar increase to the base and to every cell. Calculations provided last month indicated a five percent raise would set the base salary at 29 thousand, 400 dollars while the thousand dollar increase would make the base 29 thousand. In the end, the seven member board voted unanimously for a 12-hundred dollar increase making the base salary for next year in Trenton schools at 29 thousand, 200 dollars.
As recommended by Mrs. Albrecht, the board also approved extending the salary columns by two additional steps and changing masters plus 36 hours to be an increase of 800 dollars over the previous step. There had been a 400 dollar difference.
In a separate action, the board voted to restore teachers who had salaries frozen from 2004 to 2006 to their rightful step on the salary schedule. It affects about 20 teachers still on the faculty. Six board members were in favor and George Moore abstained from this vote.
The school board also approved a raise for the R-9 support staff that amounts to a 60 cent increase on the beginning, or base, wage of an hourly employee.
The Superintendent had proposed a 50-cent increase. Increases also will be triggered
for (non-certified) workers with years of experience at Trenton R-9.
Prior to the school board voting to approve the wage increases, Mrs. Albrecht said her recommendation regarding the certified and support staff increases amounted to 400 thousand dollars in additional expenses for the Trenton R-9 district. It was noted Trenton R-9 administrators, by board action last month, received salary increases of four and a half percent.
One administrator will not be returning to his job. Dennis Gutshall submitted his retirement letter as Director of Supportive Services effective at the end of his contract this summer. Counting employment as a Vo-Ag instructor, then as an administrator, Gutshall served 24 years in the Trenton school district.
The board approved summer school from May 28th through June 27th. Most of the classes will be at Rissler. The district again will offer driver's education for 15 year olds. Two new aspects for summer school will be hiring of a teacher for intensive instruction on reading as well as an instructor to oversee credit recovery course work
by students at the middle and high schools. Other aspects will be the same including transportation to and from Rissler School as well as offering breakfast and lunch free if the request for government funding is approved.
Plans have been approved to make improvements this summer to a Rissler school parking lot. Director of Supportive Services Dennis Gutshall told the board of education an asphalt overlay is needed for the south parking lot. The work is to include milling by Musselman and Hall (same firm the city will use); Larry Griffin Construction for the installation and management of the project; and a local trucking hauler. Asphalt is to be purchased from the city of Trenton at 70 dollars 75 cents per ton. Gutshall said the total cost is projected at a little more than 50 thousand dollars ($50,451) which is comparable to a quote in 2011 when the Rissler addition was being built. It's a three inch overlay.
The board heard about revised technology plans at Trenton middle school to allow sixth graders to use I-pads in their classroom instead of going to a dedicated lab.
The district will apply for 55 thousand dollars for the federal E-rate grant to cover 74
percent of the cost of telecommunications and internet. Approval also was given to apply to the ShopKo Foundation for a grant to finance technology equipment. It was announced a local shopping pledge at ShopKo raised two thousand dollars for R-9.
Rissler students last month raised a Trenton record ten thousand dollars for the American
Heart Association through a jump rope activity.
An agreement was renewed with Grundy County Health Department to use R-9buildings as assembly locations in the event of an community emergency.
The 2014-15 school calendar was approved with classes beginning August 20th. It includes seven inclement weather daysâ€”five of them at the end of the school year.