The Trenton R-9 Board of Education on March 8th approved, on a vote of five to one, salary schedules for the 2022-2023 school year. Approval was given after hearing a proposal from Charley Crimi with the Salary and Welfare Committee and a recommendation from Superintendent Mike Stegman.
The certified salary schedule for next school year sets the base pay at $36,000, which is an increase of $2,000 from what it currently is. The non-certified salary schedule sets the base pay at $14 per hour. That is up from the current $11.83 per hour. The approved schedules were based on Stegman’s recommendation.
Bill Miller was the only board member to vote no. Board Member Marcie Cutsinger was absent.
Miller said he knew $14 per hour was a big increase. However, he thought it should be higher or that a bigger increase in pay should be given per year than the current 10 cents per year.
The Salary and Welfare Committee’s proposal asked for a movement down on the salary scale for all certified staff members and an increase in the base pay for certified staff by a minimum of $1,300. The committee’s proposal also asked to raise the base pay for non-certified staff to $15 per hour and have a 50-cent per hour raise each year for the next five years.
Stegman’s recommendation included having a movement down, adding $2,000 to the base salary for certified staff, and adding $2.17 per hour to the base non-certified salary. He reported that would cost an estimated total of more than $439,500 ($439,537), which was a cost increase of about 4.88%.
Stegman’s recommendation also included keeping health insurance at $602 per month. He said Trenton R-9 will choose a plan within the Missouri Educators Trust that fits within that $602 range, and staff could choose to purchase a plan option with the district paying up to the $602. He cannot guarantee the plan will have the same deductibles as was asked for by the Salary and Welfare Committee.
The Salary and Welfare Committee recommended extending the master’s degree columns down to 30 years of experience. Stegman recommended leaving the schedule the same for the master’s degree columns. The scale currently includes master’s degree and master’s degree plus eight hours columns to 23 years, master plus 16 hours to 25 years, master plus 24 and 30 hours to 27 years, and master plus 36 hours to 30 years.
Stegman recommended keeping the leave policy the same to not allow the use of personal days to extend scheduled breaks. This went against the Salary and Welfare Committee proposal. Stegman noted employees can make a request for special circumstances.
Stegman also denied the committee’s proposal to convert sick leave to paid time off days. He wanted to keep the existing gift of 50 extra sick days once 50 days are accrued and allow staff to continue to accumulate up to 100 days’ leave.
Stegman said sick days are awarded to be used in case of illness or medical appointments. He believed that if the sick days were converted to PTO, that would change the purpose of the gifted days.
It was reported employees receive 10 sick days and two personal days each school year.
After further discussion, Board President Dorothy Taul created a committee to do more research on leave days. Board members on that committee are Miller, Melissa King, and Andy Burress.
The board approved 2022-2023 tuition. The rate was kept at $6,375 per year for kindergarten through 12th grade.
A cooperative agreement was renewed for middle school sports with Pleasant View R-6. Laredo R-7 was added to the agreement.
Stegman reported the district was due for bidding out for banking services and an auditor. Due to changes in the district office, he recommended Trenton R-9 push back the bidding process one year, so new staff could get acclimated before going through another change.
He said there was no legal reason to change the auditor at this time. Legal services can be chosen by the board without a regular bidding process. Conrad and Higgins have been completing audits for the district.
He did not feel there would be an advantage to switching banking services at this time. The district has renewed its signatures and accounts to accommodate new staff throughout the year. The district goes through Citizens Bank and Trust for banking.
Stegman reported Apple Bus has been acquired by First Student, but Trenton’s contract will stay the same. He said First Student is a larger company and should give the district extra benefits as well as a larger driver pool. He thinks the acquisition is a good thing.
Stegman reported there was an incident at the bus barn the morning of March 8th that involved an injury. That explained the unforeseen circumstances reported by the district.
The Apple Bus fleet passed the annual inspection.
The statewide tornado drill was held on March 8th. Rissler Elementary School postponed its drill because of scheduling. The drill is to be rescheduled soon.
Stegman said the district is in the final stages of completing its 2022-2027 Continuous School Improvement Plan. Instructional Coach Doctor Jill Watkins is leading the administration team through the final stages, and she is doing a “tremendous job”.
Watkins reported the CSIP will include goals and action steps, data points, goal completion dates, and progress monitoring under four pillars. The pillars are academic achievement, leadership and development, collaborative environment, and leadership and strategic planning. The plan will be presented to the board in April for approval.
Watkins reported the Grow Your Own Teachers Grant and Teacher Retention Grant have been approved.
The Grow Your Own Teachers Grant application process is expected to open this month. Notification of the process and application window are to be sent to faculty and staff by district email and posted on the school website.
Watkins is working with building-level administration to create a comprehensive two-year curriculum deployment plan and professional development plan to align to the Teacher Retention Grant application. The plan will be shared with faculty and staff in May.
The board entered into a closed session for personnel matters, including teaching, coaching, and sponsor contracts.