By TRICIA HILL
After years of seniors missing 10 days of school if not more due to snow days, the Boscobel School Board with the help of High School Principal Greg Bell came to the decision to hold off graduation until May 31 rather than the traditional Memorial Day weekend when the board met Tuesday night.
“After talking to DPI, they said they like to see graduation happen the weekend before school ends,” said Bell.
Even though this is not the traditional Memorial Day weekend, it will leave the seniors not missing any more than six days of school unless due to snow days. It will also make things easier on teachers as they will not have to rush to get things completed for the seniors before they graduate.
The graduation ceremony could also take place earlier than the traditional 1 p.m., according to Bell, to accommodate other area graduation ceremonies.
As the new school year begins, three elementary school employees have resigned from their positions effective Aug. 20 as the Boscobel School Board approved resignations from fifth grade teacher Chas Kinney, part time kitchen aide Bonnie Weikel and art teacher Jeni Maly.
Currently, Rachel Gavin has filled the fifth grade teacher position, one of three candidates who applied for the job. Gavin will be paid $39,148 a year.
Also hired by the board Tuesday night was Nancy Trautsch on a 50-day contract as a part-time librarian. When the position was first posted, it was listed as half-time, however, no one applied for the position. Trautsch will be receiving $286 per day equaling $14,300 in her 50-day contract.
Bell has been wearing many hats as board members kept stating during the meeting, and it is of vital importance that he is able to have some relief from the Activities Director position.
The Boscobel School District has been trying to fill this position, however, the trouble was there were not a certain amount of set hours or pay to set the Activities Director position at, causing people to not really know what they would be applying for.
Currently, in the personnel balance there is $6,000 set aside for this position. After looking into it in more depth District Administrator Tom Woznicki demonstrated a plan that they would try for a year with approval from the board to borrow and not exceed $20,000 to offer the Activities Director, depending on benefits.
“The money being used from the Fund 10 balance will be a one time thing,” said Woznicki.
If the school board were to hire out of the current staff, it could come to the point of paying benefits, which is why the cost could go up to $20,000. However, if they hire someone who would not be eligible for benefits, the board could look at borrowing at the low end from the Fund 10 balance $5,800.
The Activities Director position will be a part time position of 22 hours per week for 40 weeks. It will be a one-year contract in order to see if working within these hours will give the Activities Director enough time to get their work completed. It will pay a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
With board President Todd Miller and director Ron Johnsrud not in attendance, some important matters that need to be handled before school starts have been held off until the September meeting unless the board decides to hold a special meeting to further discuss the Laude Program and the purchase of Chromebooks for students and teachers.
Board member Thomas Pelz tried to push forward the Laude Program. However Pelz’s motion failed as no other member seconded his motion as they did not feel comfortable proceeding without more information and rules set on how the system would affect the students.
The board chose to hold off until other members were in attendance for the Chromebook purchase, as due to a student increase the price of Chromebooks and Ipads has increased from $278,000 to $295,000. No one on the board felt comfortable proceeding with this except Thomas Pelz.
By not coming to a decision on the Chromebooks at the meeting, if they decide in September to approve having them, they will not arrive until November, causing the students not to have use of them until December.
“I feel they are needed to help raise the test scores of students, which the board is constantly talking about needing done,” said Technology Director Alan Hines.