Board scraps start time switchSchool start and dismissal times will remain unchanged in the Superior school district.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
School start and dismissal times will remain unchanged in the Superior school district.
At Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, the Superior School Board voted unanimously to scrap plans to alter school bell times in for the coming year.
The new start and dismissal times had been discussed as a means of offsetting the district’s anticipated $700,000 budget shortfall; but after receiving new information from health care insurance providers, the district now believes it can make up the difference with health care savings alone.
Superintendent Janna Stevens called the health care savings “significant and unexpected.” The district will be making changes to its current health care plan to achieve the savings.
About 50 people attended Monday’s meeting and broke into applause after the Board approved a measure to drop the new bell time proposal.
Teachers and parents spoke out against the possible changes at last month’s meeting, citing concerns over student safety, increased childcare costs for families and excessively long days for elementary school students who could have boarded the bus as early as 6:30 a.m.
Board member Christina Kintop said she understood the audience’s relief, but she cautioned them not to become complacent.
“This will happen again next year,” Kintop said. “Fortunately, we found other ways; other years we may not be as fortunate.”
Since she joined the Superior School Board in 2003, Kintop said cuts have been necessary every year. Last year, the district cut two teachers, two administrators and two support staff members to offset a portion of the $2.7 million budget cut it faced.
“Every single year we have a budget cut that we have to deal with. Every single year,” Kintop said. “Some years it’s bigger, some years it’s not as big.
“There’s nothing left to cut. There’s just nothing left it this district — there’s just no fat left.”
Kintop also wanted the community to understand that the proposal to change school bell times was brought forward because it enabled the Board to keep cuts out of the classroom.
Board member Mary Klun also warned the public that more difficult decisions await the board in the future.
“We can’t always count on big insurance cuts,” she said.
In other news, new board members Jonathan Asp, Robert Morehouse, and incumbent Len Albrecht were officially sworn in at Monday’s meeting.
Albrecht was elected president of the School Board, a position he previously held from 2007-2011. He offered his thanks to John Hendricks, who took over as president in 2011, and said he looked forward to working with the new and returning School Board members.
Kintop was elected to the position of vice president, Klun was named the treasurer and Hendricks was named the clerk.
For all four positions, the board members elected were the only ones nominated for each post.