By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The school board approved a series of revisions to the support staff handbook at its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, June 10.
Business Director Keith Lucius said the handbook, which sets clear expectations for staff and outlines benefits and work rules, had not been updated for more than five years.
“We met with the support staff starting a year and a half ago, talking through some issues and some concerns,” he said. “One of our goals… was try to standardize some of the language between handbooks, and the other reason that we started meeting with them then was snow days. You remember the last school year we had a large number and how we handled snow days. And there were some support staff frustrations, and we wanted to talk through those issues.”
Lucius said revisions were made based on feedback from staff.
“It standardizes how we handle staff,” he said. “It’s not about teachers get this and support staff this.”
For example, Lucius said language in the handbook mirrors layoff language for teachers with seniority eliminated as the sole factor for determining layoffs for support staff.
“More than seniority is a factor in there, so their performance is important,” he said. “I think that’s an important thing, from what I’ve heard from past boards, that you wanted to get to, and now, that’s where we are.”
Lucius called support staff “the cornerstone of the district.”
“They’re very important, and we need to be working with them,” he said. “They’re in demand. It’s hard to find good people as aides and in the office. We value them.”
The board also approved spending around $91,500 to update the district’s elementary school math materials.
Jill Kieslich, director of curriculum, said the elementary curriculum is supported by Math Expressions, for which the district will be purchasing the updated 2018 program.
Kieslich said the materials are being purchased over a three-year period for better pricing.
She said the cost for the program in year one will be funded by the curriculum budget with building budgets assuming costs for materials in the second and third years.