BROKEN BOW–The Broken Bow Public Schools Board of Education convened for its regular monthly meeting on Monday, January 17.
Minutes and board reports were approved as well as the Treasurer’s Report given by J.B. Atkins. He said as of the year-to-date expenditures are lower and revenue is down a little bit. He said overall “things are good” and the board has just shy of $2 million in the general fund.
School board officers were unanimously re-elected:Tom Osmond as President, Pam Holcomb as Vice President, and J.B. Atkins as Treasurer.
The contract for Superintendent Darren Tobey was approved from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024 in the amount of $174,400 along with academic and financial performance bonuses.
Tom Osmond said the contract included a $2,400 increase to the base salary, $200 addition on vehicle reimbursement, totaling a less than 3% increase from last year (given the array of other superintendents they compare with).
Pam Holcomb questioned the $2,500 academic performance contract incentive on MAPS testing saying it could represent a poor culture for the school as a whole with one person being rewarded for the work of many (the teachers and staff).
“We kind of talked about that if that’s something that is poor for our school culture as a whole and the more I think about it the more I think that it is. I think it does more hurt than what good it does,” Holcomb said. “It does come down to one person being rewarded for the work of many.”
Other board members such as Tom Osmond and Tim Chancellor said opportunities for incentives have not been well received during teacher negotiations. Osmond said teachers not directly affecting MAPS testings could also be hurt by the incentive.
However, J.B. Atkins said the last two years teachers have still received more than they have asked for because of the increase in test scores. Atkins considers this a bonus to teachers but says the public only hears about the superintendent incentives because it is public knowledge.
Atkins said the goals/incentives currently in place present ways to measure that goals are being met but maybe the goals should be reevaluated.
“Basically in our negotiatons, we told them [teachers] point blank that we’ve paid them more than they’ve asked for the last two years. And the reason we did that was because we realized he [Mr. Tobey] was getting a bonus and so that’s the part that really bothers me is that’s the story that’s not getting told: the teachers got more than they’ve asked for the last two years,” Atkins said.
Resignations for fifth grade teacher Becki Dierking and first grade teacher Darci Rogers were approved. The board thanked Mrs. Dierking for her 18 years in the district and she said, “it’s been great!”
The Safe Return to School plan was approved as it is needed to be reviewd every six months. Currently there are seven COVID cases throughout K-12. Those with COVID are out for five days under the new CDC guidelines.
The next school board work session will be held on Monday, February 7 at 12 p.m. and the next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 15 at 12 p.m.