SENECA - After some discussion, the Seneca School Board unanimously approved a two percent raise for all district staff in the coming 2017-2018 contract.
In introducing the agenda item on wages for the upcoming contract, Seneca District Administrator David Boland said that a survey of local districts that have approved contracts showed the average of annual raise being offered was 1.85 percent.
Board member Brian Reynolds said he was looking to make the district’s raise two percent. School board treasurer Larry Kelley agreed with the idea.
Seneca School Board President Mark Johnson said the district tried to “maintain a fair relationship with our staff.”
Kelley noted the district was in good shape financially and two percent was “not going to break the bank.” It was noted that keeping the wage at the same level or slightly above other local districts was beneficial in hiring people.
Reynolds moved to make the raise in the new contract two percent and Kelley seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously by the board with Chad Sime abstaining.
The board also approved adding cross country as a sport in the coming school year.
Track coach Cody Sime approached Dave Boland with the proposal noting there are students interested in running on the team. There are three students definitely interested and Sime thinks there may be more interest if the team is established.
Costs are relatively low and mostly confined to uniforms.
During the administrators report the board learned the administration does have plans on how to deal with a large fifth grade class of 31 students.
There will be plans to accommodate this class at the middle school level, Boland told the board.
The board gave its monthly recognition to outgoing band director Joe Baumann for the work he did in improving the band over the past few years. They also recognized retiring elementary school teacher Lewis ‘Louie’ Ellefeson for his 41 years of service to the district.
Following a closed session personnel discussion, the board reconvened in open session and formally accepted teacher Louis Ellefson’s resignation, approved a two percent raise for district administrator Dave Boland and approved Cody Sime as the school’s new cross country coach.
In other business, the Seneca School Board:
• reviewed the input collected at the recently held listening session with staff, students and the community
• approved the Youth Options requests of four students to take college level courses next year
• approved too significantly increase the limit for liability insurance from $3 million to $6 million at a minimum cost increase to the $45,000 annual fee for the policy
• agreed the hunter safety class could again have permission to use the building for the instruction
• heard strong winds on May 17 threw a section of bleachers onto the fence at the ball field causing damage, some of which will be covered by insurance
• learned that health insurance premium increased by 3.5 percent and the dental insurance increased by five percent in the coming year
• received a budget report indicating the final numbers for revenues and expenses will be very close to those budgeted
• renewed the district’s membership in the Wisconsin Association for Equity in Funding, the Wisconsin Rural School Alliance and the Wisconsin association of school boards