GrCo school board holds special meeting

Discussion but no decision about prom, commencement

The Greene County Schools board of education held a special meeting April 29 in order to adopt the necessary resolution dealing with pandemic pay and other matters dealing with the suspension of face-to-face instruction due to COVID-19. The board’s regular meeting April 15 was before Gov Kim Reynolds announced that schools would remain closed after April 30.

Board members attended the meeting in person. The public was allowed to attend via the school’s YouTube live stream channel.

The resolution extends pay to the last contract day of the 2019-20 school year. It also allows superintendent Tim Christensen to direct staff assignments, including designating essential employees who must report to work, employees who may be reassigned, and employees whose services are not needed. Certified staff (teachers) must report for duty either onsite (if deemed essential), or from a remote location, through the end of the contract days, unless days are forgiven by the district.

Other items were added to the agenda.

The board approved a coaching matrix submitted to activities director Todd Gordon. The matrix sets the number of coaches for each middle school and high sport, and sets the numbers of participants needed to increase coaching staff.

The next item of business after considering the matrix was to terminate coaching positions, all of them basketball positions. Basketball is the only sport in which the boys and girls teams practice separately that does not reflect “boys” or “girls” on the matrix.

For the fall season, football and volleyball have distinct numbers of coaches, with a total of 10 for football and seven for volleyball. Track and field, golf, and soccer have distinct numbers of coaches, as do baseball and softball.

For basketball the matrix calls for a minimum of two seventh grade coaches, two eighth grade coaches, and two high school coaches, even though most seasons there are six high school basketball teams (boys and girls freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams). If there are 24 or more students out for basketball, the minimum number of coaches would be three; if there are 32 or more players the minimum number of coaches would be four.

The board approved having no coaches for ninth grade boys and girls basketball. The contract of Adrianna Vargas, ninth grade girls coach, is not being renewed, nor is the contract of Mark Renslow as assistant varsity boys coach. Renslow coached at East Greene before the reorganization of East Greene and Jefferson-Scranton. He continued to coach for the Greene County district.

Trey Tucker, a 2017 Greene County graduate and stand-out ball player as a Ram, has coached ninth grade boys basketball. His contract was changed to name him assistant varsity boys basketball coach.

The board approved 2020-21 employment contracts for teaching staff, coaching and extra-duty days, Teacher Leadership and Compensation positions, classified staff (classroom associates, for example), bus drivers and administrators.

Administrators all received a 2.17 percent increase on their salary, the same percentage increase negotiated by the Greene County Education Association for the base teacher salary. The effective increase – including benefits – ranged from 2.69 percent for business manager Brenda Muir to 4.01 percent for curriculum director Karen Sandberg.
School superintendent Tim Christensen’s total compensation package for 2020-21 will be $211,942.

The board approved a three-year contract with Nolte, Cornman and Johnson PC of Newton for auditing the district’s financial reports. Rates will be $10,800 the first year, $11,200 the second year, and $11,600 the third year. Nolte, Cornman and Johnson was the only firm to submit a proposal.

During his report, Christensen noted that teachers are packing up and closing their classrooms for the summer. Custodial staff continues to clean and is moving equipment and other items to allow renovation and repurposing to begin at the current high school.
The board discussed prom and commencement but made no decisions. Christensen said more information will be provided soon.

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