School Board approves policy changes

by Dave Cary Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH – Policy decisions occupied a larger-thannormal share of the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Plymouth School Board.

First, five policy revisions were given final approval, after having had their first readings last month.

One of these stated that the board supports the concept of semester exams, and delegates establishment of exam procedures to the high school principal. It also encourages students to take all exams given in their courses – even those a student is not required to take due to his/her work in the earlier part of the course, since the student does not have to have a voluntarily taken exam counted.

The other four revisions involved procedures for handling petty cash and district credit cards by authorized personnel, and encouragement of local and cooperative purchasing.

Having their first reading were policy revisions covering:

• The district’s professional growth program, aimed at helping educators sharpen and develop their skills. The policy was originally approved in 2003 and not revised since.

• Staff evaluation. States it is the superintendent’s responsibility to develop and implement a program for evaluating all district personnel, with the principal aim being to ensure quality of performance and help individuals in professional growth and performance.

• Teacher to nonprofessional employee relationships. Defines who is in charge of nonprofessional employees. Originally approved in 1991 and revised earlier this year.

• Employee Assistance Program. This policy offers assistance to those with alcohol, drug or emotional problems, defines the way those seeking assistance are to be treated, says it is the seeking employee’s responsibility to comply with referrals. The policy was adopted originally in 1983 and revised in 2003.

• Supervisory responsibilities. Says that certified personnel are responsible for student supervision during regular school hours and may be required to do the same at functions outside those hours when authorized by the principal. Originally adopted in 1991 and revised in 2003.

• Professional Staff Resignations. Says that 30 days’ written notice is required of any certificated employee wishing to resign; the board may release such an employee from his or her contract if it is felt an equally qualified replacement can be found without impairing the educational programs of students involved. Originally approved in 1983, revised in 2003.

• Support staff positions. Defines who support staff personnel are and says they are ultimately under the manager of business services, who will establish the administrative rules they come under. Originally approved in 1980, revised in 2003.

The board’s final policy action was to eliminate the indistrict residency requirement for administrative employees, since recent state law makes such requirements illegal. This policy was originally approved in 2009.

Due to the recent state-level actions, which have all but ended union contracts, there will be a significant increase in policy decisions. As a result, the board has retained NEOLA Inc., a firm that specializes in school policy development, to review school policy.

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Board Clerk Sally Isely was chosen as an alternate delegate to the 2014 Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) Delegate Assembly set for next Jan. 22. Isely replaces board President Mark Rhyan, whose schedule might keep him from attending.

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The board accepted several gifts:

• $100 from Jeffrey and Cynthia Bachmann to help offset costs of Physics Day at Great America in Gurney, Ill.

• $40 from Joanne Bartz to help offset costs of Physics Day at Great America in Gurney, Ill.

• $443.02 from the Fairview PTO for student transportation to Bookworm Gardens and Spiekers Pumpkin Farm.

• $1,195.86 from NEW Manufacturing Alliance for student transportation to Plymouth Foam Co., Sargento Foods and Bay Ships Building.

• two snowblowers, valued at $250 from Jennifer Liermann for the PHS automotive department.

• $100 from Redeemer Lutheran Church to help defray costs of the recent “homeless night” for eighth-grade students.

• $903.24 from Sargento Foods Inc. and their employees toward Riverview’s outdoor classroom.

• $386.48 from the Parkview PTK for student transportation to Spiekers Pumpkin Farm, Henschel’s Museum and Little Farmer.

• $168.60 from the Sheboygan Human Rights Association for student transportation to Book Worm Gardens and Spiekers Pumpkin Farm.

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In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of Riverview Middle School teacher Matt Kohler, effective Nov. 22, 2013. Kohler served the district for nine years.

The board approved a package of extracurricular salary adjustments for the 2014-15 school year, with one exception – the FFA co-director position, which will be effective for this year.

Caren Johnson has been hired as a food service chef.

A request from PHS German teacher Sandy Nicholson to take a group of students to the Concordia Learning College in Moorhead, Minn., next Feb. 28 to March 3, was approved by the board.

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