Last updated: July 14. 2014 9:07PM - 575 Views
By Dennis Rich drich@civitasmedia.com

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The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education approved a new sick leave incentive program for teachers and certified staff which could save the district up to $150,000 a year in substitute teacher costs during its meeting Monday.

Assistant Superintendent Nancy Scott recommended the district approve the policy and evaluate its effectiveness at the end of the next school year.

“If it has a large impact this is something we can continue,” Scott said.

Under the program, the district would use $25,000 from its Blue Cross Blue Shield policy to fund incentives. Teachers and certified staff receive 10 sick days per year. For each sick day not used by an employee, teachers would receive $50.73 (gross $50) per day and classified staff would receive $37.68 (gross $35) per day. Paying the incentive for a teacher for 10 days would be $191,759.40 and $89,301.60 for support staff.

Board member Scott Gardner asked district principals in attendance if they thought the program would be effective in their schools.

Kelly McFatrich, Skyline Elementary principal, told the board teachers usually make it to work even if they aren’t feeling 100 percent, but the program could help sway employees who were considering taking a sick day.

“I think most teachers do the right thing and come to work, even when sick, because they don’t want to miss,” McFatrich said.

She added that an incentive program at Skyline, which included Walmart gift cards, had proven popular among teachers and staff and told the board that finding substitutes can sometimes prove stressful for administrators.

According to the district, the cost of paying a certified substitute for 378 teachers for 10 days at $72.20 would be $272,916, and paying support staff substitutes for 237 employees for 10 days at $57.37 would be $135,966.60.

Including the Wellness Incentive from Blue Cross Blue Shield, the district would save up to $152,821.90, if the most extreme case of using zero substitutes occurred.

The district also heard an update on the new stadium construction project. Chief Financial Officer Harriet Wolfe told the board that weather has been more cooperative through the summer, but the project is still about three weeks behind schedule.

However, Wolfe and district officials remain confident the stadium will be ready for its first game during homecoming in October.

Wolfe said the next major component will be the laying of turf and installation of bleachers, expected to begin in August and taking about a month to complete.

On Monday the board also:

• Approved a bid from Home Heating & Air Conditioning for $145,319 for the Smith-Cotton High School infill area HVAC. The project includes the addition of 10 units, which will be tied into the existing three units, all necessary duct work, electrical work, and installation.

Once finished, the area, which is in the basement of SCHS, will house about a dozen classrooms and an office area.

• Approved an extension of the district’s contracted print services with RICOH Print Services at a 3 percent increase, which will be an additional $459.36 a month.

• Approved Activities Hall of Fame candidate Bob Cummings, a longtime band and music teacher who retired in 1980.

• Approved the Special Education Program evaluation.

• Approved the 2013-14 At Risk Program evaluation.

• Approved changes to the Student Discipline Code Handbook to reflect the current high school attendance policy.

• Approved an addition to the Activities Student Handbook regarding social media usage by students.

• Approved a date for the Tax Rate Hearing; proposed date is 6:15 p.m. Aug. 11, prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting.

• Approved the 2014-15 tuition rate; $7,500.

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