GCSD board approves early-out Mondays for 2023-24 academic year

By Rick Morain
Jefferson Herald

The Greene County Community School Board of Education on Feb. 15 approved the school calendar for the 2023-24 school year. The calendar is similar to this year’s, except it will include two-hour early-outs on scheduled school

Mondays. Most months have one Monday with no school or professional development scheduled.
Classes are set to end before Memorial Day.

The approval followed a public hearing on the calendar at the meeting, with no oral or written comments received.

Education Association releases bargaining agreement proposal

Greene County Education Association, the teachers’ union of the district, presented its initial bargaining agreement for the 2023-24 year. The proposal would increase the salary schedule base from $33,350 to $34,900. The association calculates the proposal would increase the district’s total cost, including insurance, by $500,459, or 6.00 percent. The district calculates the increase at $495,314, or 5.94 percent.
The base salary sets the number by which all teacher salaries are calculated, taking into account the number of degrees/college hours attained and the number of years’ experience.
The district was to present its initial counteroffer Wednesday, Feb. 22. Under Iowa law, subsequent negotiations will be held in either closed or open sessions, depending on what the negotiators decide.    

Minimum pay of $13 per hour set for paraeducators

A wage scale of no less than $13 per hour for paraeducators enrolled in the teacher paraeducator registered apprenticeship program was approved by the board. The second year of the program their hourly rate will be no less than $13.50 per hour. Once they complete the program their minimum hourly rate will be $16.11. They will revert back to their previous hourly rate if they drop from the program.

Staff resignations and retirements

Resignations and voluntary retirement applications for associate Jeri Gettler and transportation/grounds supervisor Robert Stofer were approved by the board.
Other staff changes were as follows:    

Resignations: family consumer science teacher Ashley Havens, seventh grade football coach Matthew Paulsen, and boys’ golf coach Heath Telleen.

Hirings: Nicole Murphy and Kimber Murphy as custodians, and Heath Telleen as girls’ golf coach.

Transfers: Jennifer Powers from pre-kindergarten associate to middle school media center associate, and Kristen Wright from fifth grade language to sixth grade science.
The board meets regularly the third Wednesday of every month at 5:15 p.m. in the board room of the middle school on Ram Drive in Jefferson.


• A low bid of $470,220 from Brockway Mechanical & Roofing for summer replacement of two sections of the middle school roof was approved by the board. They received three bids for the project. Brett Turner from The Garland Company recommended accepting the Brockway bid.
• A proposal from Countywide Electric for $17,605.97 to upgrade lighting at the middle school was approved.
• The board approved changing its swimming agreement starting in 2023-24 from the Boone district to the Carroll district.
• Superintendent Brett Abbotts presented student achievement winter scores in reading and math by grade. Administrators gave their impressions and thoughts for improvement. Administrative report slides were available, with alignment to district priorities. Current scores by grade in reading and math range from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile. The district’s goal is at least the 60th percentile for every grade.
The district also seeks to have 50 percent of students meet their improvement goals.
• The board placed on first reading a new policy to allow the district to stock a supply of opioid antagonist medication.
• During open forum, Darren Jackson, representing the Grand Junction First Presbyterian Church, presented the board a check for $1,500 as a donation toward student lunches for those in need.

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