Clinton County Board of Education, whose regular meeting December 9 was cancelled, held a special call meeting three days later, Thursday evening, December 12 with all members present.
The board first heard a brief review of the 2012-13 fiscal year audit report from representatives of Wilson and Company CPA of Somerset, which has been conducting the local district’s audit for the past several years.
The school district once again received a clean audit in all categories, with the only ongoing note being in the area of the internal control system, which is charged with keeping full information on financial statements. However, it was noted that most all smaller school districts have similar situations due to limited office staffing.
After approving minutes from previous meetings, the board granted a medical leave of absence for Lisa Hardin through January 10, 2014; approved between meeting disbursements and voted to pay claims and bills.
Board Chairman Paula Key then gave the monthly personnel report, as follows:
* Substitute teachers: Marissa Irwin, Stacy Byers and Eric Dicken, all district-wide.
* Classified hired: Lonnie Shelton, full-time substitute bus driver.
* Classified transfer: Nick Irwin from CCHS Paraprofessional I (timeout) to Paraprofessional I (alternative school).
* Certified teacher suspended/termination: Beth Sullivan, district-wide, suspended without pay and termination of contract.
The board then voted to continue its regular meeting schedule date/time as is, the second Monday of each month at 5 p.m. and also approved four hours credit as local board training hours on the topics of fiscal management and facility planning that took place on November 26.
They then approved an offer of assistance from the 2014 fiscal year from KETS funds in the amount of $15,365. These funds will match local funds used in the area of technology, primarily the purchase of new computers and software.
The board then voted on a complicated matter that basically pertains to the federal Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in its future dealings with employees’ health insurance coverage and whether employees are considered full-or part-time.
The new health care act apparently mandates that all full-time, or over 30 hour per week employees, are considered full time and must be covered by employers, while those under the minimum are considered part-time and are not mandated under the act.
The school district will have a “window” in which time to determine which employees, primary part-time workers such as substitute teachers, bus drivers, etc. receive enough hours to be considered full or part-time and whether or not coverage is mandated.
Although school district employees that have health insurance are covered by the state, additional persons added on as full-time could create a strain on the already financially strapped state budget.
The health insurance affordability question has been ongoing with smaller local governments, including the City of Albany and Clinton County Fiscal Court, for the past several months now.
Superintendent Charlotte Bernard admitted the entire program was complicated, and no one knows exactly what the situation may be until after January 1, when the Health Care Act officially goes into effect, the district has to act to comply with the law and also determine which employees in the long run are actually full or part-time.
Following a brief discussion, the following motion was made pertaining to insurance coverage passed, as follows: “…to establish a “measurement period” for the purpose of offering insurance coverage to ongoing employees to be October 1, 2013 through October 1, 2014; establish an “administrative period” for ongoing employees to be October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014; establish a “stability period” for ongoing employees to be January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015; establish a “measure period for new hires to be 12 months following the first day of the month after the first day worked; an “administrative period for new hires to be 30 days following the last day of the “measurement period,” and a, “stability period” for new hires to be one (1) year following the last day of the “administrative period.” These established periods shall be continued each year until rescinded upon board action.
The board then approved an overnight trip for the varsity cheerleaders to compete in the Worldwide Spirit Association Beach Nationals competition which will be held in Destin/Ft. Walton, Florida March 29-30, 2014.
The school district’s annual Comprehensive District Improvement Plan for 2013-14 was then unanimously approved.
Supt. Bernard explained the state mandated plan is put together, in part, by combining each individual schools plan for improving instruction district-wide each year. She listed and explained six primary goals the district would undertake and also discussed with two principals at the meeting, Sheldon Harlan at CCHS and Teresa Scott at CCMS about programs and work currently underway to help meet the instructional improvement goals.
Finally, Bernard gave a brief update on attendance for the fourth month of the school year. Attendance for the month was down from 94.3 last year to 93.7 this year, a rate the district is working to improve upon. The district’s goal for the 2013-14 school year is a 94.5 percent Average Daily Attendance (ADA) figure.
The school with both the highest rate of improvement over last year as well as the highest attendance rate for the fourth month was Albany Elementary.
The next regular meeting of the Clinton County Board of Education is scheduled for January 13 at 5 p.m. at the Central Office and is open to the public.