August 25, 2023 at 9:40 a.m.

Compensation packages approved for Iowa-Grant district employees

It turns out it really pays to listen.

Iowa-Grant Superintendent Mike Shimshak had a plan for a compensation package for district professional staff but he decided he needed more input.  So, he held two listening sessions with the district staff and he came up with a better plan.

Still, the school board needed to approve the final package and Shimshak gave them four options to consider.  He recommended 3A, a part of a two part plan, that the board approved.

For teachers this represents 4.88% overall based on a calculation of 4% of base.  

After closed session the board approved Increase to the compensation packages for the two full time building administrators and the superintendent.

“The listening sessions were very valuable,” said Shimshak.  “This is more equitable for the employees.”

The board also approved a 4% hike for non-represented full time staff that will provide an increase of at least $1,800 per year. 

Hourly wage earners were granted a $.66 per hour increase.

EC-a Principal Jodi Bast gave her update to the board.  It included:

-back to school night has been  planned

-“The school becomes alive in august with staff members working with incoming students under  the ready-set-go program.”

-backpack donations received and appreciated

2-8 Principal Jennifer Gallagher’s comments included:

-appreciate to staff members for pitching in to get ready for the start of school

-There were a lot of volunteers for t-ball and coach pitch

-Gallagher outlined what is going on in preparation for start of school, noting various seminars have been held.

The board heard from the new athletic/activities director Danni Garcia-Havens. She said there will be a 24 hour period before a coaching issue can be addressed so those involved can collect their thoughts.

She also reported on the ticket price the SWAL is charging for all sports, some which have not been charged for previously.

High school Principal Chris Gotto reported that:

-He attended mental health and suicide prevention programming

-Sources of Strength can be added to curriculum

-Freshman orientation and back to school night will be held soon

-Three more ovens will be added for food science

-It is good to see staff returning

Gotto thanked custodial staff and office personnel for their diligence in getting ready for the start of school.

Shimshak reported the district will renew their agreement with Oregon Mental Health Services.  A memorandum of understanding will be signed. 

He added a welcome back breakfast is planned and the board is invited.

Shimshak expanded on the Sources of Strength program and said:

“It is more than just repackaging what is already known and is very beneficial”

Donations were received and accepted and appreciated.  The donations include:

-$2500 from Badger Hollow Solar Farm to the community garden.I-G FFA

-$1000 from Invenergy Services LLC to the IGEMS lunch program

-$250 from IGPDTC to teacher classroom supplies

-$112.16 from Community First Bank to the IG FFA

-$100 to the baseball program from Greg and Mary Bauer

-$50 from Paul Lee to the athletic department.

A very special donation was received from the I-G Educational Foundation in honor of former I-G Superintendent Linda Erickson, a victim of cancer.  The donation was for $1000.

The board accepted resignations from JV softball coach Greg Slack and IGEMS educational assistant Amanda McDermott.  They also accepted a retirement notice from 7th grade language arts teacher Holly Allen.

A band overnight field trip to Branson, MO was approved from March 23-26, 2024. A bread bid from Bimbo Bakeries for $13,302.50 was approved, keeping the business with the same supplier as last year.  A beef bid from a local supplier was rejected based on cost.

Fundraisers for the music department and the softball team were approved.

The board approved a new records retention schedule for administrative, budget, facilities management, human resources, information technology, payroll and benefits, purchasing and procurement, risk management and the Wisconsin municipal and related general records schedule.

The use of school facilities updated policies was presented for a first reading as were several Neola recommended policies needing updates.