Board of education discusses administrative contracts
By JUDY SHERARD
Hays USD 489 Board of Education members' opinions differed on administrators' contracts and meeting dates at the board work session Monday night.
Superintendent Will Roth said district principals have asked for a non-renewal notification date, such as Dec. 1, since the district has changed to one-year contracts.
An earlier notification would give them more time to plan before the March renewal date.
Currently, the board doesn't have a notification date for principals.
Board member Greg Schwartz said he was concerned it could make evaluations happen too soon in the year, and Roth wouldn't have much material to evaluate.
"You could move it up to Jan. 31 and have their evaluations then," he said.
"I feel very confident that I would know by Dec. 1," Roth said.
Since the board was discussing principals' contracts, board member Marty Patterson asked about incentive pay or bonuses for principals when meeting a goal.
Board member Sharon Befort asked if principals could be rewarded with a two-year contract to give them job security.
Patterson said extended contracts aren't feasible because future state funds aren't certain.
"If we know our budget for this year, we've got that money," Patterson said. "We may not have it next year."
Board president Richard Kraemer said he was opposed, and asked Roth how he felt about having principals' bonuses based on his evaluation.
"It's that way in my job. Every year, my raise is based on my evaluation," board vice president Darren Schumacher said.
Roth said he wasn't sure bonuses would get the desired result.
Befort advocated the team approach rather than bonuses or rewards.
Kraemer suggested Roth talk to the principals and bring a recommendation on a non-renewal notification date.
Board members also disagreed on meeting dates.
Central office administrators recommend the board have one work session and one meeting per month beginning in July, except for August, which will have two meetings to accommodate the budget hearing.
This year, the board met 18 times and had 12 work sessions.
"We kind of think this gives us the best of both," said Deputy Superintendent Richard Cain.
"Whenever there's urgent business that can't wait for the next meeting, we can always schedule a special meeting or work session," Roth said.
"I'm not a fan of meeting less," Schwartz said.
Meeting more frequently keeps the meetings shorter, he said.
"Can we get everything done if we have only one board meeting a month?" Schumacher asked.
"I thought we had too many meetings," Patterson said.
Board member James Leiker said if the board approves the administration's recommendation next week, he would like to receive the meeting materials at least a week before the meeting to review them.
Board member Alan Moore was absent.