The Ouray School Board of Education unanimously voted to hold a special meeting for its proposed mill levy, which would increase teachers/staff salaries. The board voted 4-0 member Dave Ficco was absent at its regular meeting on Wednesday, May 16, that further discussion is needed to set a dollar amount on a levy that will go to voters in November.
The special meeting, which is to discuss whether or not salaries district-wide can be brought to a competitive level with those of surrounding districts, will be held in the school library at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6.
“I spoke to the few members of accountability who were at our last meeting and got some ideas of people who will help with a salary mill levy override,” Superintendent Sandra Kern wrote in her report to the board.
“While the major push for an election will not come until after school starts next fall, we should use the summer to educate a committee and prepare our strategy for fall.”
2007-08 Calendar Approved
The Ouray School Board approved the calendar for the 2007-08 school year after its second reading on Wednesday evening.
“We propose the calendar you got last month,² Superintendent Sandra Kern said, “with the starting day after Labor Day and ending the last Friday in May , and having a week at Thanksgiving.” The calendar also includes letting school out on the Friday before and Monday after spring break.
The accepted calendar consists of 165 teacher contact days. The current year has 166 for high school students and 163 for elementary.
Gym Floor to Be Refinished, Minus Trojan
A bid from Texas-based Huco Products to refinish the maple gymnasium floor was unanimously accepted by the Ouray School Board. Such maintenance hasn’t been performed since the floor was installed in 1995.
The board did not accept a $2,600 bid by the same company to have a two-color, 12-foot Trojan head painted at center court, making the approved total for the refinishing $10,773.
Work includes removal of all finish, lines and paint, which will be done by sanding down to the original surface. After repainting the lines and “Ouray Trojans” on each end of the court, the two coats of Bona-Kemi Sport Ply will be applied.
The refinishing is tentatively scheduled for next month.
According to custodian Tom Hollenbeck, the gym floor had been receiving an annual in-house refinishing at an estimated cost of $2,500.
Teacher Sick Day Policy Heard
Superintendent Sandra Kern proposed an amended sick day policy at the school board meeting on Wednesday.
“With principals approval, teachers who use up all of their sick days would pay the cost of their substitute for additional days,” said Kern. “The principals would need some backbone in the case of a teacher who ‘fritters away’ their sick days and then really does get sick, but the vast majority of our teachers have never been guilty of that abuse.”
The board will likely address a second reading of this proposed amendment at its next regular meeting.
Board Reads ‘More Accurate’ Budget
Superintendent Sandra Kern presented the board with a revised budget for the
2007-08 school year, which will go into effect July 1.
“It’s a more accurate budget,” she said. “I put in more accurate percentages, but salaries are about the same [as the first reading].”
The proposed budget includes a 2 percent increase in pay for teachers, as well as a $7,100 revenue-expenditure difference, up from $878 in the original draft.
Proposed Activity Pay Schedule Raises Concerns
Speech teacher Nancy Nixon addressed the board, asking its members “not to approve the extra curricular budget” because “it appears to me it’s lacking great detail and it was done in a hurry.”
Nixon supplied members of the audience, administrators and board members with her pay schedule study, comparing the proposed schedule to the present one. In it, she highlighted a 307 percent low-end and 525 percent high-end pay increase for an assistant high school volleyball coach under the proposed pay schedule. The current pay for an assistant high school volleyball coach is $200, whereas under the proposed schedule that coach would make a low of $615 and a high of $1,050 per season.
“I’m asking can we gather data from sponsors and coaches,” Nixon said. “Some people will understate and overstate, but we need to weigh in on the amount of time is spent in their job. I’m here to be an advocate.”
Dance team instructor Phylis Fagrelius also voiced a concern, stating, “What I’ve heard as a coach, is that we’re confused. As a recommendation: Go to every coach, email, whatever. We need specific questions.”
Superintendent Sandra Kern said the proposed pay schedule was not in the budget for next year.
The board’s next regular meeting will be held June 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the school library.