The Woodward News

September 8, 2013

Board to approve new hires

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Once again the Woodward Public Schools Board of Education has a number of new hires to vote on.

The school board will be meeting Monday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. in the school administration building at 1023 10th St.

Superintendent Tim Merchant said the positions that school board members will be voting upon have already been filled, but the board must still approve the hires.

"They have been working since the first of school," Merchant said.  "They were just hired after the last board meeting but before the start of school.  So they have been on the job, this is just official action by the board to approve them."

The positions include:

• one full-time and one part-time worker at Boomer Kids Club;

• a kindergarten teacher, two 1st grade teachers, 3 paraprofessionals, and a cafeteria worker at the Early Childhood Center;

• an ISD supervisor, custodian, Spanish/ESL teacher and special-ed paraprofessional at Woodward High School; and

• Title 1 and ELL paraprofessionals at Highland Park, Cedar Heights, and Horace Mann.

By filling all these positions, Merchant said the district will have filled all previous vacancies from departing personnel.

"This is still just replacing people that have resigned, retired or left," he said.

But it doesn't mean the district has all the staff members it really needs.

"We really, really could use another kindergarten teacher, another 3rd grade teacher, a 4th grade teacher and 2 middle school English teachers," Merchant said.  "And we're still actively pursing that."

He said those positions are needed not because of vacancies, but "just because of our growth; these are positions that we are trying to add."

Until those positions can be added, he said the district will continue to have to deal with "larger class sizes than we want."



OTHER SCHOOL BOARD BUSINESS

In other action during Monday's meeting, the school board is slated to act on:

• a cash fund estimate of needs and request for appropriation for various bond funds, which Merchant described as "a formality saying we want the millage to pay off what we still owe from the 2008 bond issue;"

• payment of some 2012-2013 federal matching teacher retirement funds, because Merchant said that "an oversight" led to the district failing to make some matching retirement payments to "around 3" teachers last school year.  "We have to have special board action to make a payment for the previous year from the current year," he said.

• 2013-2014 Certified Negotiated Agreement between the district and the Woodward Education Association.  "Each year a negotiated agreement is ratified by both the teachers' union and the school board for the conditions of employment," Merchant said, noting the agreement outlines such things as teacher salaries, leave time and other benefits.