By Tammy Gray
A pay increase for Holbrook Unified School District staff members not included in a previous salary increase was approved Tuesday evening.
Non-exempt support staff members will receive a 1.5 percent increase to hourly pay rates, as well as an additional 24-cent flat rate increase.
Superintendent Robbie Koerperich noted that the flat rate increase is intended to match the increase made to the first year support staff salary placement schedule, which the board also approved. New support staff pay rates are increased by a flat 24 cents per hour across the salary schedule.
Pay rates for substitute teachers were also increased by $5 per day. The new substitute teacher pay scale also now includes training pay rates.
Board members asked how much the district spends each year on substitute teachers.
Dr. Koerperich noted that he did not have an exact figure on hand, but estimated that the total is around $100,000 per year.
“I would have thought that would be much higher,” said Board Vice President Rick Nichols.
Board members unanimously approved the pay increases.
In other action April 8, the board:
* Held the first reading of a policy revision that defines any knife as a weapon, regardless of the length of the blade. The existing policy does not include folding pocketknives with a blade length of less than 2.5 inches if the blade cannot be locked in an open position.
* Approved the job description for instructional coach positions at Indian Wells Elementary School.
“Indian Wells will be transitioning from reading specialists to instructional coaches during the 2014-15 school year in order to better serve students in both reading and math,” Koerperich noted.
* Held the first reading of a policy revision that clarifies conflict of interest for board members in the case of procurements less than $300.
* Held the first reading of a school board meeting policy recommended by the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA). The new policy requires the board to meet at least once per month during the school year. The Holbrook board already meets the requirements set forth in the policy.
* Approved a revision to the student wellness policy that brings it in line with federal regulations regarding measurable school-wide evaluations.
* Held the first reading of a revision to the district’s child abuse and protection policy, as recommended by the ASBA, to change the documentation required for Child Protective Services to interview a child or access school records.
* Approved an agreement with the Navajo County Special Services Consortium for occupational, physical and speech therapy services.
* Approved a 60-day review of books for use in the Holbrook Junior High School English Department as part of the pre-advanced placement program. Books subject to the review include, among others, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, at the district office in Holbrook.
By Tammy Gray