Three months after
ratifying a new one-year contract with the Duneland Teachers Association (DTA)
that gave raises to teachers for the first time in seven years, the Duneland
School Board on Thursday voted 5-0 to raise pay for classified staff.
Duneland Schools Superintendent David Pruis said administrators evaluated
pay ranges for staff members who do not require a teaching license such as
secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, food service workers, etc., and felt
they were “outdated.”
boosting compensation to those 250 or so employees as was done with the
teachers’ contract. Administrators looked to make sure the adjustments would
be sustainable, he said. Money is available in the corporation’s general and
referendum funds, as well as food service, transportation and capital
The base increase
or one-time stipends would run from $750 to $3,000, based on the number of
work days and classifications, Pruis said.
Before the vote,
DTA co-president Michele Bartels read a statement during the Patron
Participation portion of the meeting supporting the pay raises.
“I know how
difficult it was for some of us when there was no pay raise and I know some
other people have also experienced hardships for not having pay raises so I
just wanted to encourage our board with respect to the Duneland family to
think about (them) also,” Bartels said.
rated effective or highly effective will see an extra dollar figure on their
Jan. 20 pay check, a “performance award.”
Duneland was one of
the school districts in Indiana to receive part of the $14.18 million
performance grant distributed by the Indiana Department of Education to
schools this year, about half of what it was last year. The grant awards
teachers based on passing rates for standardized tests and graduation rates
for the 2015-16 school year.
The school board
voted 5-0 to accept the plan for the bonus funds to be disbursed to
Pruis asked the board if they would consider rewarding school building
administrators since they too “had a role in helping our teachers do what
they do in the classroom every day” by awarding them with stipends similar
to what the teachers receive. It has been something that neighboring school
districts have done in the past, he added.
Kristin Kroeger and member Mike Trout said they agreed with Pruis’
recommendation. The board voted 5-0 to pay extra funds to administrators,
using available funds in Duneland’s budget.
The board also
unanimously approved renewing contracts for administrators that were
expiring after a two-year term.
In other business,
the board approved three bids for facility projects recommended by Director
of Support Services Greg Lindy.
Roofing was the lowest bid submitted for the roof repair project at
Westchester Intermediate School at $117,565.
Construction’s bid for HVAC updates and new classroom doors at Yost
Elementary was approved. Board member Brandon Kroft abstained from voting on
submitted a bid of $96,367 for reconfiguring the sewer system at the Special
Services Center. The corporation will hook into the town’s sewer utility.
Chuck Parkinson said there will need to be a petition for annexation to be
filed with the Town of Chesterton in order for the schools to receive sewer
service. The school board approved 5-0 to file the petition.
Lindy said crews
are wrapping up the bathroom renovation project at WIS and the fire alarm
system at the Special Services Center.
Marquis signs will
be replaced at four Duneland schools.
Lindy said he is
also talking to engineers about the project of redesigning the air
ventilation system at CHS. Maintenance staff is planning more work on areas
of the CHS parking lot and it is likely a seal coating will be needed, Lindy
The board was
treated to a presentation made by Chesterton Middle School on its CANVAS
system that helps students, staff and parents keep track of homework and
assignments on the schools’ website.
CMS Principal Mike
Megyesi said the school has made strides in the past year and a half using
Fleming, Hunter Carlson, Hunter Stewart, Emerson Stobbe and Peyton Martinson
made a video showing the capabilities of CANVAS and how it enhances
teacher Mark Meyers said he learned the system while he was student teaching
and though it would be helpful at CMS. “I’ve grown up with technology and
that is where everything is going.”
In the monthly
personnel report approved with the consent agenda, Duneland appointed Amanda
Terry as attendance secretary for Chesterton High School, Karen Adcock as an
accounting assistant for Duneland, Sarah Pilarski as a bus driver and
Richard Sexton as a maintenance worker.
Resigning this past
month are CHS utility aide Remy Lewis and football coach Stan Rettew.
retirements at the end of the 2016-17 school year are CHS Business teachers
Rebecca Gierke and Donna Wilk. Also retiring is Liberty Elementary 1st Grade
teacher Gayle Sandquist.