The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local Schools

February 27, 2014

Northeast looks at new staffing plan

CLINTON Superintendent Jim Cox said a current technology proposal could save the Northeast School District some money and create three new high school electives.

Twin State Technical Services, of Davenport, currently provides the district with technology infrastructure and support with a 2013-2014 contract of $8,333 a month or a total of $100,000 for the year. This flat rate is a reduction from a previously proposed cost of $180,000. A proposal, presented Thursday night by Cox, Middle/High School Principal Alicia Christiansen and Assistant Principal Phillip Bormann, would transfer most of these duties to district staff.

"I've made them really go through the paces on this (proposal)," Cox said. "And I've really been resistant to this because I'm looking for cost savings."

However, Cox supported the proposal of a current math teacher being put into a technology position. This teacher would still spend one-quarter of his time teaching a calculus, robotics and computer programming class. Cox estimated the salary of this teacher at $55,000.

A new teacher would be hired to teach algebra II, pre-calculus, statistics, as well as possibly advanced placement statistics and discrete math.

The school district would still contract with Twin States at a cost of $26,880. The company would visit Northeast twice a month, handling the district's network.

"The bottom line, it saves the district $10,000," Cox said. "And it would give Alicia (Christiansen) three more classes, electives to present to kids."

As the district continues to move towards more STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses, Christiansen said these electives could be be expanded in the future. Board member Rich Krogmann likes the concept of an active teacher being a technical resource, as long as the person knows what duties he or she is responsible for. After that, it's just a case of paying for it.

"We've just got to shake the tree, find the money," Krogmann said.

The board did not approve the proposal Thursday. Cox had some legal questions on the procedure of moving this certified employee into a non-certified position.

"I think there's a lot more benefits than negatives here for our students," Bormann said.

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