USD 333 board approves slight increase in pay
A slight increase in pay for teachers, administrators and classified staff was approved by the Unified School District 333 board of education during a special meeting.
The board approved the 2020-21 negotiated agreement with teachers that included a pay increase of 2.62 percent plus step.
A 2.62 percent pay increase plus step for administrators and classified staff was also approved by the board.
Included in the list of new hires, transfers and resignations approved by the board during the meeting was the transfer of Darlene Griffiths to the position of Concordia Middle School principal. She has served as the Multi-Tier System of Supports and Alignment and testing coordinator for the district.
Griffiths replaces Larry Myers, who resigned as middle school principal and junior high athletic director.
The board approved naming Steen Danielsen, the Concordia High School assistant principal and athletic and activities director, as the junior high athletic and activities director.
The purchase of a 2019 John Deere 324G skid steer from PrairieLand Partners, LLC at a cost of $29,800 plus trade was approved by the board. The skid steer will replace a 2000 John Deere 5410 tractor.
In other action taken during the meeting, the board approved the soft close of fiscal year 2020.
The fiscal year ended Tuesday with the district showing $1,048,565.74 in its capital outlay fund and $808,392.58 in the contingency reserve fund.
By law, the district must zero out its general fund.
Concordia city manager Amy Lange met with the board during the meeting and presented information on the proposed use of the remaining Tax Increment Financing (TIF) project funds.
The city is proposing using $100,000 of the TIF funds to help cover the cost of replacing pavement, storm sewer and sanitary sewer mains in the alley downtown between Sixth and Seventh streets, specifically, the alleys between Lincoln and State streets.
Total cost of the project is estimated at $1,032,685. The city received a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $561,660 for the project.
The city is also proposing spending about $250,000 in TIF funds for a public parking lot on Sixth Street west of the Brown Grand Theatre.
There is an estimated $350,000 in remaining TIF funds.
The TIF district was established in 2000. Since its inception, 26 projects have been completed for a $9.1 million investment resulting in $4,143,710 in added assessed valuation within the district as of June 2020.
Krystal Breese, Concordia Elementary School assistant principal and the district's director of curriculum, presented the board with information about a proposal for a new K-8 math curriculum.
The current math curriculum, implemented in 2011, can no longer be updated or supported by the company on the technology side.
It was proposed that the board of education adopt Eureka Math, both print and online for grades K-8, as well as online components for grades 9-12.
Cost of purchasing the Eureka Math materials from Great Minds PBC is $49,538.08.
Superintendent of schools Quentin Breese was asked during the meeting when the district plans to restart its summer programs that were suspended after some participating students tested positive for COVID-19.
The district, on June 23, closed all of its facilities so they could be disinfected, and halted all summer activities such as weights and conditioning, driver's education, band lessons and vocal lessons.
Several junior and senior high school students were placed in mandatory quarantine as a result of the positive tests.
“At this point we are planning to open back up as soon as the quarantine is completed. We feel like we had great procedures in place. Cleaning in between every lift. Checking temperatures when we came in,” Breese, “All of the situations that have arisen have been essentially outside contact, outside of our programs that was basically brought in. So as administrators, I think we are planning on continuing it the same way. As soon as we can start back up again on the (July) 6th we are firing up driver's ed, summer band lessons and vocal lessons when all of our students are out of quarantine.”