Dr. Childs, interim chief at Antigo school district, will stay another year|
Interim Administrator Dr. Don Childs will remain at the helm of the Antigo school district for another year.
At its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, the board of education extended its agreement with Childs through the 2014-15 school year, continuing his salary for an 80 percent contract at $120,000 annually.
“I told the board when I took this job that I was not going to be a place-holder,” Childs said. “We’re undertaking a series of initiatives now so this will allow me to see the process through until changes become more systematized and not likely to change with a different administrator.”
Childs was hired in August after serving as interim administrator for the Clinton Community School District in southeastern Wisconsin. He previously was administrator of the Lake Mills school district for 10 years and as an interim superintendent in Howard-Suamico, Beaver Dam and Waupun before joining the Clinton school district in June, 2012 for a one-year term. He took that job to fill the vacancy caused by a one-year sabbatical for the school’s administrator.
The educator has spent most of his career in the Chicago suburbs and has made a specialty over the last decade of coming into districts on a short-term basis, filling unexpected vacancies and solving problems.
He was hired following the abrupt resignation of Dr. Steve Smolek in June, 2013 after just a year on the job.
Since he arrived in Antigo, Childs has been holding a series of governance workshops with the board, a process that took a key step forward with a decision by the panel Tuesday to eliminate the board committee structure for the remainder of the school year in favor of working through all issues at the board level.
Childs said that the board will meet early each month for a governance workshop. The business meeting late in the month will include items that now work through the operations and instructional committees, with discussion during one meeting and then action a month later.
Childs, who has used a similar process at school districts in the past, said that the goal is to create an environment where all members receive the same information, at the same time, on all issues, allowing time for full-board deliberation.
Following a closed session discussion, the board also took preliminary steps toward revising the wage schedule for the district’s instructional staff, which may include pay for performance.
Childs said that the plan, which will be developed in consultation with the staff, will include changes in the various salary steps and seniority lanes, with a goal of creating a fair, sustainable and affordable schedule that rewards growth in student achievement among other benchmarks.
“By transitioning to this new model, nobody moves backwards,” Childs stressed.
The plan will require months of fine-tuning, he said, but the goal is to have something ready for implementation for the next school year.
The remainder of the meeting, which stretched toward the 2 1/2 hour mark, focused on bidding and personnel matters.
The evening opened with the presentation of the 2012-13 audit by Dave Maccoux of Schenck Business Services, which Childs said showed the accounts are in good order, with no recommendations for changes.
On an 8-1 vote, the board adopted 2014-15 budget calendar, which projects a deficit of $319,492—modest in comparison to recent years—and recommends allocations per building of $120 per pupil at the elementary level; $200 per student at the Middle School; and $225 at the high school.
Administrative budget priorities include updating textbooks and instructional materials, continued technology replacement and upgrades and maintenance projects.
The budget calendar calls for a preliminary presentation to the board in May with tentative approval in June or July.
Childs said the calendar, and recommendations for spending, are a change from past practices, where the district looked at what to cut rather than determining priorities for areas where spending must be increased.
The board also received an update on a facility study being undertaken by representatives of the Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 10. The focus is on health and safety issues, security, payback and loss prevention.
A final report is expected in February.
The board delayed final action on revisions to the policy and rules for filling school board vacancies, a contentious issue since the panel has been attempting, unsuccessfully, for months to fill the ninth school board position.
Under the proposal, if no candidate receives a majority of votes, the person with the fewest number of votes is eliminated prior to a revote. The process may be repeated until someone receives a majority. If continued voting results in a deadline, a motion to defer the appointment can be made. The revisions also allow for follow-up questions for the candidates following the interview process.
In personnel matters, the board approved the retirements of Carol Koszarek as food service server at the Middle School effective at the end of the current school year and Kathy Solin as administrative assistant to the director of business services and supervisor of building and grounds effective April 4.
The district will post for a full-time administrative assistant and part-time receptionist, at no increased cost, to fill Solin’s duties.
The board also:
—approved a course proposal for the high school dealing with biotechnology and biofuels.
—accepted proposals for a variety of technology services, including Internet, telephone and wireless, under the federal E-rate program. Successful bidders included WiscNet, $12,500 annually for Internet services; Frontier, 6 cents a minute for long distance telephone services and $7,524 for 66 lines for existing telephone services; Charter, $6,760 for existing T1 service; Cirrinity, $36,000 for digital transmission lines for the four rural elementary schools; and Verizon Wireless, wireless telephone service including separate costs for minutes, smartphone and data tethering plans.
—purchased 59 laptops and five desktop workstations with computer monitors from SHI International Corp. for $49,681.
—bought 24 smart boards and projectors for $63,753 from Tierney Brothers Inc.
—accepted the bid for razing and disposal of a district-owned home at 440 Deleglise St. from Kautza Excavating for $9,300.
—inked the agreement with the city of Antigo for the use of baseball and softball fields.
—and accepted the resignation of Andrea White as a special education instructional assistant at the high school.
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