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Access to buildings granted for P-O board members
Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
PHILIPSBURG - Philipsburg-Osceola school board members are allowed access to the district's buildings after a motion to the contrary was rescinded at its meeting Tuesday night.
Board Director Jim Verbeck made a motion to rescind a March 26, 2012 motion that board members should no longer have access to the buildings, nor should they have fobs. He also made a motion to allow access and return the fobs. Both motions were approved despite opposition from Board Director Elizabeth Whitehead.
During questions on the motion, Whitehead asked what the purpose of Verbeck's motion to rescind was. Board President Rebecca Timchak said board members hold meetings for interviewing and negotiation purposes and sometimes there is no one around to let them in after school hours.
"I think there was a reason - because they were being abused - is why they were taken away in the first place," said Whitehead. "I think the board members need to sign in and sign out."
Timchak said the board members should go directly to the office, sign in, and make their presence known when school is in session. Verbeck said the board members offered to turn in the fobs; they were not taken away.
Whitehead said a problem had arisen with board members letting themselves into buildings without calling in advance. None of the principals have ever said they wouldn't let a board member into a building for a meeting, she said. Whitehead also said she believes board members shouldn't be allowed access to the buildings without having the proper child clearances.
"I think that you are micromanaging getting into these buildings and want control, and that's the wrong way to go about it," said Whitehead. "I think we need to discuss this with the solicitor and possibly look into the ethics code and the Sunshine Law."
Following a brief discussion, Verbeck made a motion to require board members to obtain child clearances at the district's expense. The motion died due to lack of a second. Board Director Linda Bush then made a motion to table a decision, which was approved.
In other business, Matt Johnson gave a superintendent steering committee report. The committee is pleased the board hired a group of consultants to help with the search, and the committee reconvened last week to discuss and recommend characteristics, he said. The steering committee broke its characteristics into four themes: educational vision, background, leadership and financial responsibility, Johnson said.
"We feel the candidate should have a clear vision of the goals for the district and should include opportunities for students with a variety of career aspirations that include but are not limited to 2-year colleges, 4-year colleges, trade schools and vocational/technical careers," said Johnson. "We feel it's important, because all students should be provided the opportunity to pursue the career of their choice."
Johnson said prospective superintendent candidates should articulate in advance how they wish to be evaluated. Superintendent candidates should have experience in public classroom teaching and/or administrative experience and the ability to manage budgets in both the short and long-term, he said. The candidate should also have demonstrated ownership of the communities he or she has worked in.
"In many ways the superintendent's job involves selling his or her vision to all of the stakeholders," Johnson said.
As part of its consent agenda, the board voted to approve a resolution confirming it would not approve a tax increase by more than the index established by the state Department of Education of 2.4 percent.
The board also approved:
• adding John Maurer and Elaine Bennett to appropriate substitute list for the 2012-13 school year for all subject areas.
• hiring Rebecca Kohute as homebound instructor, secondary grade level (5 hours per week), effective Jan. 24.
• accepting the resignation of Denise Minarchick as a member of the Certified Safety Committee, effective immediately.
• dissolving one district wide head cook position (6.5 hours per day).
• a second reading of policy 707, use of school facilities.
• a first reading of policy 249, bullying/cyber bullying and 611.1, food and beverage expenditure guidelines.
• accepting the resignation of Neil A. Rager as assistant junior high track and field coach, effective immediately.
• Kathryn Lessie for the extra curricular, volunteer position of the spring play at the high school.
• Jeff Vroman for the extra curricular position of varsity football coach per contract for the 2013-14 school year.
Philipsburg-Osceola's next meeting is Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at Philipsburg Elementary School.
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