3 things to know in the Superior School District
On Monday, the school board approved staff salary increases; staff reductions, with all but two coming from attrition; and several gifts for a variety of programs.
SUPERIOR — The Superior School Board met for its regular meeting on Monday, April 10.
Here are three takeaways from the meeting:
The board approved salary increases for teachers, support staff, professional staff and administrators for the 2023-2024 school year totaling $699,299. The new items, which were not included in the April 3 committee of the whole agenda, will add $1,187 to each step on the teacher salary schedule for a total increase of $423,000, and 2.75% of the starting step to each step on the support staff, professional staff and administrators salary schedule, increasing totals by $153,000, $30,000 and $93,000 respectively.
Members of the Superior Federation of Teachers Local 202 were unable to hold a ratification vote in time, as they had not anticipated a vote on wage increases from the board, according to Kyle Smith, acting president for the federation.
“Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to communicate better to come to an agreed upon timeline allowing a ratification vote,” Smith said.
District Administrator Amy Starzecki shared a memo outlining initial staffing reductions for the 2023-2024 school year with the board. All but two of the reductions would be made through attrition due to teacher resignations and retirements. The other two — a math teacher at Superior High School and a speech language pathologist position — are vacancies that would remain unfilled.
The list included teacher librarians at Bryant and Cooper Elementary schools, teachers at Northern Lights, Bryant, Cooper and Great Lakes elementary schools and replacing a retiring Cooper physical education teacher with a long-term substitute. A teacher from Four Corners Elementary would also move to Great Lakes due to class sizes. The reductions would net the district an approximate savings of $846,687.
The district is seeing a significant decline in student enrollment at the elementary level. For the 2023-2024 school year, the district will have 300 fewer elementary students than before the pandemic, according to Starzecki. Reductions made in the coming school year will help reduce the need for layoffs in 2023-2025, she said in the memo.
The school board approved a number of gifts and grants that were received in March. The list included a $50,000 Fast Forward grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for Spartan Manufacturing, a student-run manufacturing business at Superior High School that allows students to gain real-world business experience and put the skills they’ve learned to work. The program, set to officially begin at the start of the 2023-2024 school year, also received $6,425 from Cenovus and a $5,000 Gene Haas Foundation Grant.
Individuals and businesses donated funds for an AP Biology class field trip to Chicago, the Superior High School pops concert, teacher conferences, the all-night graduation party, the Spartan Shack and a book fair. Upper Lakes Foods contributed a sports complex sponsorship of $5,000.
A new activity account was approved for the Superior High School music department.