Archive for Thursday, June 15, 2006

Weather pushes up schools’ insurance premiums

June 15, 2006

Kansas' volatile weather has raised insurance rates for the Basehor-Linwood school district and other surrounding districts.

School board members were informed Monday evening that insurance rates would increase by 5.59 percent for the 2006-07 school year. This increase is due to the fact that the hail and wind deductible increased from $2,500 to $5,000.

The Basehor-Linwood district filed an insurance claim of about $1 million to fix roofs on almost all district buildings following a March 12 hailstorm that blew through the area. Some board members felt the increase was unfair because weather cannot be controlled.

"We're being penalized for God hailing," board member Randy Cunningham said.

J.R. Reilly, a representative from the district's insurance broker, Reilly and Sons, assured board members the deductible increase was not because they filed a claim.

"You are not being punished," he said. "Other districts that didn't see this type of hail are seeing these deductibles too."

While the increase may seem unfair to some, the district does not have a choice in the matter.

"We don't have any option," said Don Swartz, executive director of business and facilities for the district. "Five thousand is the minimum for that."

All other deductibles will hold constant at $2,500. The district will pay a total of $195,496 to renew its insurance policy starting July 1.

In other action, the school board:

  • Approved, 6-0, dual credit weighted grade-point average.

The traditional 4.0 scale will be used unless a student chooses to take a dual credit course. Dual credit courses are considered more advanced and include such courses as college calculus and college chemistry. They are offered to each student as an alternative to regular core classes and are taught by a teacher with a master's degree in that specific area. A weighted scale will be used for these classes as follows: A is 5.0 points; B is 4.0 points; C is 2.0 points; D is 1.0 points; and F is 0.0 points.

  • Policy change for reimbursement of meal allowances. In the past, employees were reimbursed up to a limit of $10 for meals while they are on professional development leave. Employees will no longer be reimbursed for these meals due to tax liabilities.
  • Policy change for cell phone usage. This new policy outlines when and how employees are to use cell phones during working hours.
  • School lunch program. This document must be approved every year by the school board to ensure the district complies with the state regulated school lunch program.
  • Lunch prices. Lunches will be $1.80 for elementary students and $1.90 for middle and high school students. Adult lunch prices went up $.05 to $2.60.
  • Textbook fees. Textbooks will remain at $30 for kindergarten and $50 for first- through 12-graders.
  • Program participation fees. Students will pay $25 for each high school extracurricular activity and $15 for each middle school activity.
  • Resolution for destruction of records. This resolution authorizes when the clerk of the board is permitted to destroy documents, such as bookkeeping and accounting records and insurance policies. Each type of record is outlined in the resolution including the age the document must be before it may be destroyed.
  • Set next month's meeting date for July 10.
  • Approved, 6-0, payment for unused vacation days.

This was approved for Bill Hatfield who will be leaving the district at the end of June.

  • Resignations of three teachers: Lori Zych, second grade teacher at Glenwood Ridge and eighth grade volleyball and seventh grade basketball coach; Tracy Still, counselor at the sixth grade center; and Megan Folk, sixth grade teacher, student council sponsor, middle school volleyball coach and Virtual School sixth grade teacher.
  • Retirement of two teachers: Beverly Riley and Crysta Harrington.
  • Renewed the contracts of several teachers in the district,
  • Following an executive session on personnel matters, agreed, 6-0, to commit $174, 985 for a classified salaries increase, which includes such positions as secretaries, custodians, teacher aides and food service. The average salary increase in this category is 10 percent.

The school board also thanked Bill Hatfield for his service as assistant superintendent and interim superintendent. Hatfield announced is resignation earlier this year.

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