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Coleman Board Votes Against Outsourcing Sub Teacher Plan

The Coleman School Board voted against contracting with AESOP, Inc. or Teachers-on-Call to hire and place substitute teachers in its classrooms during the next school year. The unanimous vote on Monday evening, July 21, came after a lengthy discussion about the cost-effectiveness of one or both of the services. 

The contract with AESOP would have cost the district $6,470 for the first year and $3,720 in subsequent years. The agreement with Teachers-on-Call cost 26 percent of the district’s substitute costs, an estimated $10,000. Engaging with the two services would have sub-contracted recruitment of substitute teachers out to the two firms, who would hire the teachers, pay them, and keep track of their earnings for tax and benefit purposes.

Superintendaent Brian Walters told the Board that it could work with just AESOP, but a contract with Teachers-on-Call would require them to have an agreement with AESOP. Board members believed that the costs outweighed the possible benefits to the district. 

Board member Barbara Klause-Klug wanted the board to wait one more year before considering these services again. Several neighboring school districts use one or both services, and board members had some concerns that substitute teachers will be more difficult to hire because they have more opportunities to work in several districts. 

Administrative Assistant Kari Petitjean told the board the district needs a minimum of two substitute teachers every day, and more when the district administers district-wide tests. Hiring the substitutes from the district office consumes a great deal of her time.

In other items, the Board voted to raise the price of school lunches by 10 cents. Lunches in the elementary school will increase from $2.25 to $2.35 and the high school lunches will go up from $2.35 to $2.65.

The Board also voted to contract with Taher Food Service of Minnetonka, Minnesota to manage the district’s food service program. Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction requires all school districts to have a food services management plan, and the previous catering arrangements that the district shared with the Oconto Falls School no longer meets those requirements. Walters estimates that the new program will cost about as much as the previous arrangements. If the program goes over budget, Taher will absorb the loss instead of the district.

With one dissenting vote by Scott Herzog, the Board reluctantly approved five requests for early graduation from Coleman High School. The students, who will finish their high school requirements after the Fall 2014 semester, cited a desire to take college courses full time or work in family run businesses. Walters told the Board that the district does not encourage early graduation, and the students parents must agree to the request. The five students will participate in the May graduation ceremony.

Yvette Marshall, the newly hired elementary principal, thanked the board for its confidence in her, and reported that she has been getting to know the school’s staff, budget, and curriculum during her first two weeks on the job.

The Board approved several resignations and staff changes. Becky Chaltry has resigned as the district’s track coach, Heather Blanchard as Assistant Softball Coach, Derek Tate as Youth Apprenticeship Advisor, Jacquiline Patz as Pom Pom and Dance Coach and Kari Petitjean as Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent. Jeff Bronson and Andy Kaufman will share duties as weight room co-advisors, and Zach Pasdo will move from a part time to a full time custodian position working in all parts of the school building. Jody Mack’s hours as a custodian at the elementary school will drop from five hours a day to four.

Chairperson Ryan Wendt presided.

Because the all sports banquet is planned for Aug. 18, the Board will meet next on Aug. 25 at 7 P.M. in the Board Room.


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