Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with more accurate information.
SOUTH WHITLEY — Whitko Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved a staff appreciation grant at its monthly meeting, Nov. 18.
The board previously settled its collective bargaining agreement with teachers in a special session on the afternoon of Nov. 15. The agreement raised certified staff salaries 4.73% for the 2019-2020 academic year. The funds for the pay increase came from a teacher appreciation grant from the State of Indiana.
Whitko Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Brandon Penrod proposed a staff appreciation grant to include a pay increase and bonus for non-certified and administrative staff within the school corporation. The funds for the grant are separate from the teacher appreciation grant, provided by the corporation itself.
“We believe that education is a team effort and as such, all of our employees play a part in educating students,” said Penrod. “They should be recognized for that and shown appreciation.”
Penrod recommended administrative and non-certified employees receive the same pay increase as teachers, 4.73%, for the 2019-2020 academic year, to be paid out of a separate grant fund from the teacher appreciation grant. Full-time non-certified employees, such as cafeteria staff and custodians, would receive $300 in addition to the pay increase, with part-time employees receiving a prorated share of the $300, approximately $150 according to Penrod.
The school corporation recently received its portion of the teacher appreciation grant. The corporation expects to have the funds given to the teachers by the state-mandated deadline of Dec. 6. The separate funds for the staff appreciation grant will be dispersed to administrative and non-certified employees at the same time as funds from the teacher appreciation grant.
Other business included:
- The board approved Feb. 17 (President’s Day) as the official make up day for the closing of classes Tuesday, Nov. 19. The school corporation closed because of an anticipated staff shortage due to many teachers attending Red for Ed action day at the Indiana State House in Indianapolis.
- The board approved that the corporation moves forward with Emcor Construction Services regarding a project to convert lights in the Whitko Jr./Sr. High School gymnasium to LED fixtures. Emcor was the only organization that responded to the corporation’s request for qualifications.
- The next school board of trustees meeting will be a work session on Dec. 12. The regular session will be on Dec. 16 at Pierceton Elementary.