Basehor school staff got Christmas surprise in December
January is School Board appreciation month and the Association of Basehor-Linwood Educators (ABLE) and Interest Based Bargaining team of the Basehor-Linwood School District thanked their board for a very welcome Christmas surprise.
Victoria Davids spoke for ABLE at Monday's board meeting and thanked them for an unforgettable gift.
Superintendent David Howard and the board were in discussions with members of ABLE throughout the end of 2013 regarding increasing the salary scale for members of the district staff.
The money available to give to staff was about $145,000 and was the result of the district's increasing attendance.
The district receives about $3,800 per student in the district in state-based aid. For 2013, Howard budgeted an increase of 25 students, but the actual increase reached 67 students. That meant the district received an additional $145,000 for the additional 42 students. According to the district's bargaining agreement with teachers, any additional money above the budgeted amount is to go to staff salary.
And so, in a secret but appreciated way, Howard and the school board decided to distribute that money to the 124 teachers, 12 administrators and 92 classified staff members in one lump sum on Dec. 12 instead of spreading it out over the next year.
Staff members from food services to bus drivers to teachers received envelopes with checks or gift cards in them to their complete surprise.
"There are not a lot of things that we get to do as board members where we get to make such an impact and see such an impact," said board president Dayna Miller.
Each member of the board visited each school in the district to personally hand out the checks.
"Some people cried and others were just so grateful," board member Richard Zamora said.