May 082013

By Julie Wiessner
The Winslow Unified School District Governing Board members voted to end the Little Colorado River program at the end of June. This was the districts first attempt to work in on-line education for Winslow students. The administration recommended this change because partnerships with other districts, such as Scottsdale Online Learning, are going to offer a greater variety of courses than they could offer trying to run their own program. According to Superintendent Doug Watson, the students of Winslow will see greater opportunities and benefits through this change.
In other business, Watson reported on a bid accepted in the refinancing of the school construction bonds of 2002. The bid accepted was from Zion Bank of Utah and refinancing of about $2.1 million in outstanding bonds will save the local taxpayers approximately $138,000.
In other action, the board approved:
* Approved expense vouchers totaling $47, 844.
* Approved the transfers for the following people into these positions: Sondra Dixon, from fifth grade teacher to special education teacher at Washington Elementary next year; Gina Williams, from library technician to clerical aide at the Winslow Junior High and John Maine, from vocation education teacher at the Winslow High School to industrial arts teacher at the WJHS next year, each due to budget cuts.
* Approved the resignation of Melissa Gilbert as a high needs special education aide.
* Accepted donations in the amount of $463.30 for Washington Elementary.
* Approved out of state travel for two employees and 14 students to Durango Colo., June 14-16 for basketball camp, paid for by fundraisers; two employees and 14 students to San Diego, Calif., June 26-July 1, for basketball camp; three employees to San Francisco, Calif., July 14-17 for the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships GEAR UP annual conference paid for with a $3,948 GEAR UP Grant; and six employees and 17 students to San Diego, Calif., July 17-22, for a girls’ basketball tournament, paid for by fundraisers.
* Approved an additional meeting at 10 a.m. on June 28 to authorize publishing of the 2013/2014 budgets. The board cancelled the July 3 and 17 meetings and added one 7 a.m. meeting Monday, July 15. The changes were made to accommodate the July 4 holiday.
* Approved for first reading a change in policies in professional staff fringe benefits and support staff fringe benefits, along with the district’s retire-return to work program. If approved at the next meeting the number of hours an employee must work to receive health insurance benefits will change from 32 hours per week to 30.
* Heard Watson’s report on the insurance rates proposed by Arizona School Boards Association Insurance Trust and Delta Dental for next year. No increase on health insurance for current employees and a six percent rate increase for retirees. Delta Dental proposed a two percent increase in dental insurance costs. The board voted to approve the insurance rates proposals with the district absorbing the slight cost the dental insurance increase will incur.