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Mitchell board OKs teacher salary package

The Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy. (Republic file photo)

Mitchell's full-time public school teachers will receive an extra $1,000 next year if they ratify a salary plan approved Monday by the Mitchell Board of Education.

The proposed pay increase resulted from recent negotiations between the District and the Mitchell Education Association, and association membership also must approve it. The school board approved the plan during a regular meeting at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy building.

Teachers will receive a salary increase of $500—adjusted for full time equivalency—if they were teachers for the current school year, plus a one-time adjusted bonus of $500, to be paid in December. Salary increases for future years will be determined in future negotiations.

District Superintendent Joseph Graves said funding for the salary agreement will be covered by the percentage increase in state funding, plus funds from a one-time state reimbursement package.

In other matters, the Board:

• Approved the 2016-17 audit results for the Mitchell School District. The District's auditors found no moderate or serious problems with financial compliance requirements and said the district's budgetary statements represent an accurate picture. The District's financial report for the year was mostly status quo from a year earlier. Declines in financial positions were related mostly to low investment returns connected to retirement liability. Those declines were expected to be erased by good returns on investments this year.

• Approved the sale of the 2017-18 Architectural Design and Building Construction "Site House" at 1812 Snead Ave. The sale prices of both homes built during the school year will cover project expenses.

• Approved the elementary school handbook for the 2018-19 school year. Approval of middle school and high school handbooks was delayed to allow for minor edits. Among the policy changes considered: Middle school students will be allowed to take water bottles out of the cafeteria; a high school provision prohibiting pop outside of the cafeteria will be deleted, giving teachers discretion over their classrooms; a high-school prohibition on fighting will allow for suspensions of more than three days if circumstances warrant greater consequences.

• Approved the comprehensive special education plan for the Mitchell School District for the 2018-19 School Year. The plan is identical to the prior year's plan.

• Approved on second reading several revisions to K-12 board policies.

• Approved on first reading a policy on restraint and seclusion. The policy is required by recent state legislation. Mitchell's policy is patterned heavily on a model policy drafted by the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.

• Marked the 2018 Official Election Ballot for South Dakota High School Activities Association.

The board approved the consent agenda with the following personnel changes:

• New Hires: Cole Knippling, mathematics teacher at Mitchell High School and 10th grade boys basketball coach.

• Resignations: Victoria Hyder, music teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary; Skyler Heyden, teacher at L.B. Williams; Amy Hurley, food service worker at Mitchell High School.

• MTI new hires: Samantha Simkins, food service lead.

• Summer MTI adjunct new hires: Michelle Graber, interpersonal communications; Julie Gross, workplace communications; Julie Hart-Schutte, social diversity; Annika Russell, business classes; Jean Starr, technical math; Shirlyce Weisser, electronic medical records.

• MTI resignation: Darla Kotrba, registrar.

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