ADAMS TOWNSHIP — The Clinton-Massie school board has awarded the superintendent a three-year contract extension.
Clinton-Massie Local Schools Superintendent Matt Baker is entering his fourth year at the helm of the school district. After several tries by the district to pass an operating levy, voters in May passed a 0.5 percent (½ of 1 percent) earnings tax by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent.
“I am blessed and honored to receive a three-year contract extension from the board of education. I appreciate the support I have received from the board, our staff, and this great community. I look forward to working side by side with our stakeholders as we strive to reach new levels of achievement for our district,” Baker said.
The board of education voted 4-1 Monday night to award Baker the three-year contract. The sole “no” vote was cast by board member David Webb, who explained he is firmly behind Baker but favored a two-year deal over the longer three-year contract.
His vote was based on the considerations that there are “rotating members of the school board” and “I hate to extend things out.”
The other four board members who voted for the contract and its three-year time span are President Jeremy Lamb, Vice President Mike Goodall, Andy Avery and Kathleen Norman.
Lamb said Baker is doing a great job. He added he thinks Baker is the person to “take Massie to the next level.”
Also Monday the school board approved a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Clinton-Massie Education Association (CMEA) — the teachers union.
The agreement calls for a 3 percent base increase in teachers’ salaries the first year, a 1.75 percent increase the second year, and likewise a 1.75 percent increase in the third year.
The terms include concessions by teachers to go along with reductions in the district’s portion of funding the teachers’ health care premiums. Lamb said the teachers demonstrated a partnership with the district by agreeing to the district scaling down its share of premium payments.
Over the course of the three-year contract, the district’s portion for paying family plan premiums will go from 85 percent to 80 percent, and its share of paying the premiums on singles plans will drop from 95 percent to 87.5 percent.
The collective bargaining agreement also implements tiering in the health benefits program, according to Lamb. Those tiers are a single tier, an employee-plus-spouse tier, an employee-plus-kids tier, and a family tier.
“That’s aimed at reducing overall health costs,” the board president said.
The district/CMEA agreement will expire at the end of July 2022.
The board accepted a $19,500 proposal from CF Educational Solutions to conduct a yearlong strategic planning process. In July, Baker said he has a goal to have Phase 1 of a strategic plan ready for public consumption by June 2020.
The superintendent said Monday he and the district treasurer have been reviewing fees. Their goal in the next 12 months is to see a reduction in school fees, with the first focus on academic fees, then transportation fees, and next participation fees such as athletics and student activities.
Baker wants a $400 cap to be set this year on total extra-curricular activity fees for an individual student. Based on last year’s figures, that would involve an $8,400 decrease in funds for the district while easing families’ cost burdens to an extent.
Clinton-Massie Elementary School Principal Jennifer Updike presented a report to the board. She gave a public thank-you to the Olive Branch United Methodist Church which donated time and material for a new “sensory path” inside the elementary building.
A sensory path is an area where young students can take a “brain break” to help them refocus and then learn upon their return to the classroom, said Updike. Though it has a hopscotch, the sensory path is not an indoor recess space, she said.
A staffer is leading a Mindset Class for kindergartners and first-graders, where among other things she teaches them about how to make friends and dealing with sadness about leaving parents.
The Clarksville Saw Mill donated wood boards to make benches for an outdoor classroom.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.