By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News
Teachers in the Mt. Pleasant Community School District will have a little more time for parent/teacher conferences this spring as the Board of Education approved a schedule change Monday night.
According to Superintendent John Henriksen, teaching staff had a hard time scheduling parent/teacher conferences with the limited time last fall. Last semester, parent/teacher conferences went from 4-8 p.m. on a Thursday night and all day the following Friday. However, teachers said after school on Thursday was simply not enough time. Henriksen suggested having an early out on Thursday, Feb. 15, to allow teachers more time to meet with parents. The school board agreed. Parent/teacher conferences will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 and all day on Friday, Feb. 16.
During the school board meeting Monday, board members approved offering early retirement for certified and non-certified staff. Henriksen said the decision to offer early retirement is a cost-saving measure.
Last year, the district cut $700,000 from its budget. However, with student enrollment down 40 students from last year, and state funding dependent on the number of enrolled students, he felt offering early retirement would help keep the district?s budget in good standing. Allowing seasoned staff to retire early means the district can either not fill the position or hire someone with less experience for a smaller salary.
Henriksen said there were eight certified staff members interested in early retirement and five non-certified.
Those who take early retirement will either receive a lump sum or a percentage of their salary. The funds to pay for early retirement come from the district?s management fund instead of the general fund, which is where a staff member?s salary comes from.