District revises pay structure

A. Marie Hamilton, NLJ Reporter

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug.  23, the Weston County School District No.  1 board of trustees revisited a number of policies, including sabbaticals and pay structure for certified staff.


But the most notable change may have been to district policy GCMD-E, No. 1, concerning the extra duty pay schedule for extracurricular personnel positions, which will be reduced because the district will no longer receive the grant that funded a previous increase. As a result, Superintendent Brad LaCroix recommended that the board reduce the pay schedule for extracurricular personnel positions.


“The reason for those changes is because the grant funding no longer allows us to fund those (positions) — so we will have to look at other kinds of funding sources,” LaCroix told the trustees.


Without discussion trustees unanimously voted to follow the superintendent’s recommendation.


The pay reduction could affect coaches; speech assistants; activities coordinators; student council, Future Business Leaders, Future Farmers of America advisers; various coordinators for Titles I, V, IIA and district special education personnel.


(The News Letter Journal asked to see which departments or extra-duty personnel saw a decrease, but that information was not available by press time. The newspaper will report on those changes once the information isavailable.)


The expansion of district policy GCCAF, concerning employee sabbaticals, was also unanimously approved by the board. Under the policy, certified employees or administrators can  take a leave of absence for various needs or reasons, including continued education.  The revision to the policy, as proposed by LaCroix, would offer the same benefit to classified and certified employees. LaCroix explained that classified employees, such as paraprofessionals, bus drivers, food service workers or maintenance workers, would have the ability to take a year off to pursue education that would benefit the district as they would return to the district as a certified staff member.


“This is an existing policy that has always been primarily for certified staff members,” LaCroix explained at the meeting. 


LaCroix said that extending the sabbatical opportunity to classified staff could help the district meet today’s challenges in finding and keeping qualified staff. 


“For example, if we have a classified person that wants to take a year to go do a student teaching or some schooling to help out in other areas (needed in the district),” he said, “it (changing the policy) would allow them to do that.”


“I think it opens up a door that might help us as we continue (addressing) the struggle for applicants,” he added.


LaCroix also proposed some clarification of district policy AFC, Chapter 29, concerning the certified personnel evaluation system.


LaCroix said the changes streamline the policy to make it clearer but does not change the policy revisions previously approved in 2016 by the board and the Wyoming Department of Education. 


More information on policy revisions approved at the Aug. 23 meeting and those revisions to other policies that will be considered can be found on the district website under the district board tab and under the policies sub-tab at wcsd1.org.


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