Red Wing School Board briefsFrom the meeting of Feb. 6, 2012.
District will require direct deposit
Red Wing School Board approved a motion Monday that will require the use of direct deposit for all employees on the district’s payroll. A Minnesota statute allows school districts to require employees to have their paychecks deposited into their bank accounts, but Red Wing School District has never enforced the policy before.
“It seems like a good time to move this forward,” Finance Director Brad Johnson said.
Because employees who do use direct deposit view their pay stubs online, Johnson said the payroll system is already “pretty near paperless.” The new requirement will further that endeavor.
“That will clean up paper shuffling,” Board member Mike Christensen said.
The requirement will affect about 40 to 50 employees who currently do not use direct deposit. Those employees will have until July 1 to set up their account. If employees don’t want to use a bank for direct deposit, they have the option of having their paychecks deposited onto a debit card, Johnson said.
2012-13 school calendar approved
The calendar for the 2012-13 school year was approved. Classes will start Sept. 4, homecoming will take place Oct. 12, spring break will span March 25-29 and graduation will be June 7.
The motion to approve the calendar included a requirement that the effectiveness of the district’s early release days be looked into. On those days, students are released early to give teachers time to work on staff development. The 2012-13 calendar has five early release days.
Board member Dennis Porter said the district needs to make sure the original goal of the early release days — improving student achievement through teacher training — is still being met. “Sometimes when things go on and on and on, you lose focus of what the original intent was,” he said.
Board member Mike Christenson raised concerns about what students are being taught on those short days, adding that he has heard students say teachers are showing movies rather than lecturing.
“I don’t accept this in any way, shape or form as an excuse” for not teaching, Christenson said.
“We need to make sure the student contact that day is meaningful, educational student contact,” Board chairman Mitch Boldt said.
The motion stated that a report on the effectiveness of staff development days, including early release days, must be presented to the board by June 30, 2012.
Substitute pay rates increased
Increased rates of pay for district employee substitutes were approved Monday night. The new rates are more similar to those of surrounding districts. “We were lagging a fair amount,” Finance Director Brad Johnson said.
The new rates were recommended by Teachers on Call, the outside firm that will supply substitutes to the district. Under the new rates, a substitute teacher who has worked at least 30 days in the district will receive $125 for a full day, rather than $110.
Pay for substitute custodians, educational assistants, cooks and clerical staff was also increased.
Johnson said the higher pay will help the district recruit substitutes and avoid shortages, which have been a problem.
The board approved the following personnel changes:
Medical leave: Shelly Garcia, special education assistant at RWHS, effective Jan. 11; Pat Kiczula, swimming instructor at Twin Bluff, effective Dec. 19.
Additional hours: Ben Slagle, physical education teacher at Riverside and Jefferson, effective Jan. 24; salary reimbursed by GCED.
Reassignment: Jeff Meyer, head custodian at Sunnyside, effective Jan. 23.
Resignation: Mary Kelly, long-term sub for social worker at Sunnyside, effective March 12.
Termination: Melody Calhoun, special education assistant at Colvill, effective Jan. 13.
Retirement: Jean Stumpf, cook at RWHS, effective June 1.
Monday’s meeting lasted about two hours. Board member Steve Anderson was absent.
— Compiled by Sarah Gorvin, staff writer
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