January 13, 2010
Board Chairman Linda Kessler called the regular meeting of the Goshen County School District
No. 1 Board of Trustees to order at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 in the District
Board Room. The following Board members were present: Chairman Linda Kessler, Vice
Chairman Linda Johnson, Treasurer Clark House, Ed Jolovich, Jim Eddington, Rob Branham,
and Linda Meyer. Clerk Brent Kaufman arrived at 8:00 p.m. Charlie Harshberger was absent.
Also present were: Superintendent Ray Schulte, Assistant Superintendent Roger Humphrey,
Business Manager Marcy Cates, and Secretary to the Board Loreen Fritzler. All Board members
received the agenda and supporting materials prior to the meeting.
Prior to the meeting, the Board met in Executive Session. Johnson moved to go into executive
session at 6:05 p.m. House seconded. Carried unanimously. Discussion of superintendent
evaluation and contract. Discussion of assistant superintendent contract. Johnson moved to
come out of executive session at 6:40 p.m. with no action taken. Eddington seconded. Carried
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Chairman Kessler noted that Public Forum was Item D on
the agenda. There were no addendum items. Johnson moved to approve the agenda as
presented. Branham seconded.
The Board recognized district music students who earned All-State Band and All-State Choir.
Torrington High School music teacher Kris Tolman indicated that this year more students
qualified for state than in past 10 years. The Lingle Ft. Laramie High School football team was
recognized for being the 1A/2A State Runner Up in November. Lingle Ft. Laramie High School
student Hannah Gibbs was recognized for being the Wyoming State Student Council President,
and Alena Gronewold was recognized for being named to the All State Student Council. Lingle
Ft. Laramie teacher Mary Harshberger was named as the State Student Council Advisor of the
Year. She has served as an advisor for the past 35 years.
Torrington Middle School Principal Marv Haiman thanked the Board for coming over to TMS
prior to the Board meeting to visit Walt Smith’s Technology Education classroom and see what
the students are doing with the broadcasting elective course. Designing quality and engaging
work such as this program exemplifies what is going on in classrooms. A broad spectrum of the
TMS student body is involved with this course.
Superintendent Ray Schulte and Assistant Superintendent Roger Humphrey updated the Board
on the 2010 ARRA Stimulus Funds grant application. The district plan for the use of these
funds was submitted to the state for their review. The district will be notified in about one week
when the initial reading is done, with approval in early February and the allocations being sent.
The goal is that students will experience an increase in the level of engaging work, and teachers
regularly and intentionally design engaging work. This is supplemental funding for the district
from February 2010 through December 2011.
GCSD#1 qualifies for approximately $1.3 million; this money is in addition to the annual
consolidated grant allocations, which will come in July. District staff was surveyed about use of
ARRA monies, and there were also informational staff and community meetings. The four main
areas being considered are instruction, curriculum, assessment, and data systems. Consultants
will be coming into the district, and teachers will be compensated for their additional time.
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There will be summer work to avoid pulling teachers out of classrooms, and two additional
calendar days during the 2010-2011 school year will be paid out of the stimulus funds. All
things being done are designed to increase effectiveness of what is already being done.
The district is still working on the Title IID competitive grant, which contains specific parameters
on integrating technology into the classrooms. This grant is due on February 8, 2010. Also, the
state of Wyoming has applied for additional funds through the “Race to the Top” grant. This is
another competitive grant, with all 48 Wyoming school districts supporting the state. Only a few
of these federal grants will be awarded to states.
In Public Forum, retirees indicated that they would prefer to address the Board with the
concerns on health insurance at the time of the action item.
Items in the consent agenda included: approve minutes of December 8, 2009 regular meeting;
approve monthly bills; approve purchase exceeding $1,500.00 for the purchase of snow
removal blade for Southeast grasshopper in the total amount of $2,300.00; approve purchase
exceeding $1,500.00 for the purchase of a snow blade for the 2000 Chevrolet shop truck in the
total amount of $5,429.00; approve purchase exceeding $1,500.00 for the purchase of two
printers for the industrial arts programs at Southeast Schools and Lingle Ft. Laramie Schools in
the total amount of $4,890.00; approve purchase exceeding $1,500.00 for the purchase of
architectural software for the industrial arts programs at Southeast Schools and Lingle Ft.
Laramie Schools in the total amount of $4,130.00; approve purchase exceeding $1,500.00 for
the installation of sacrificial anodes on fuel tanks lines at Transportation as required per DEQ
inspection in the total amount of $4,365.00; and approve special education contract with St.
Joseph’s Children’s Home for tuition and group, individual and family therapy services not to
exceed $149.00 per day for Student 3864 from January 4, 2010 through May 21, 2010. Johnson
moved to approve the consent agenda as presented. Branham seconded. Carried
Johnson moved to appoint Eddington to begin a new term on the Recreation Board expiring
December 2014, and reaffirm the other members as follows: Carie Campbell – 2nd year, (term
expires December 2013); Tim Pieper – 3rd year, (term expires December 2012); Rob Branham
– 4th year, (term expires December 2011); and Clark House – 5th year, (term expires December
2010). Jolovich seconded. Carried unanimously.
Johnson moved to approve reappointing Jolovich as a district representative to the Higher
Education BOCES Board. Branham seconded. Carried unanimously.
Chairman Kessler took discussion from the Board regarding the renewal of the TeacherInsight
assessment. Meyer expressed concerns over the validity of the test and the possibility of
Jolovich asked the principals in attendance if the assessment limits the number of candidates
they look at. Marv Haiman indicated that he was present to support the TeacherInsight. He
stated that it is a great screener and acknowledged the question about validity, but presented
his experience in hiring an applicant with a high score out of a large pool of candidates, and this
person is an outstanding teacher. He clarified that it is not the sole or final screening
instrument. Using it in conjunction with the Teacher Perceiver gives a strong indication of
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The TeacherInsight assists principals in being able to contact high quality teachers immediately
and saves time. Rather than sorting through stacks of application materials, principals can
contact teachers sooner. It is a minimal investment to give the district a lead on great teachers,
and to also identify those who will have great student/teacher relationships.
The TI is only part of the process; principals still set up interviews and call references. Trail
Elementary Principal John Riddle agreed with Mr. Haiman that it is one of many tools to help
make a decision. Candidates who score low typically do not interview well. The interview
validates the score on the TI. Superintendent Schulte informed the Board that some people did
not score in the desired range, but have interviewed well, and have been hired after a thorough
screening and their performance in classroom is acceptable.
Mr. Schulte said that when the district posts an opening, and a candidate scores well, he
expects the principals to pursue that person; the Teacher Insight allows us to move quickly.
Eddington said that it is hard to argue with the use of the TeacherInsight as an assessment tool.
House moved to renew the district access to the TeacherInsight assessment at the renewal rate
of $6,857.00 for the 2010 calendar year. Johnson seconded. Meyer voted nay. Motion
Options that were presented to the Board for consideration of the district retirees’ participation in
the district health insurance pool were:
Option #1 – Continue as is, allowing current and prospective retirees to purchase their
health insurance through the District’s provider, at the District rate. This would entail
“booking” for that liability and the use of an actuarial to determine the risk involved.
Option #2 – Prospective retirees would no longer be able to purchase their health insurance
through the District’s provider, at the District rate. They would be able to purchase
insurance at the “retiree rate” through the District’s provider (WEBT). This could be a
negotiable item during salary relations.
Option #3 - Transition all retirees to the WEBT retiree insurance plan from the District
insurance plan in the next 3, 4, or 5 years
Chairman Kessler opened the floor for public comment prior to board discussion.
Dave Burrill said that the health insurance has improved greatly and the move to WEBT has
been beneficial but is concerned about government rules for booking retiree liability. He
indicated that the WEBT retiree pool premium cost for family coverage is an additional $638.00.
He urged the board to realize that people retired thinking that they would have insurance.
Becky Nighswonger was part of the insurance committee meeting on January 5, and met today
for an education association meeting. There are many questions still; she asked that the Board
put this on hold and have the salary relations team meet and come to consensus before the
February Board meeting.
Grady Hutcherson spoke on behalf of the GCEA. He said he learned of the issue last month at
board meeting and has a concern whether it would go to the salary relations team. The district
has taken one month to address the issue, and some employees have no knowledge of
impending changes. District staff received the emailed memo today. He said the negotiated
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piece has been in place for 20 years for staff with 15 years of district employment, and he asked
that the Board consider utilizing the process of IBN to consider all options before a decision is
Maureen Reichert-Stull indicated that she had not been notified and found out today. She was
part of the insurance committee in the past.
Matt Kruse from WEA said that he had received several phone calls about GASB45. He
believes that it is not a requirement for funding, but only a reporting requirement. He said it does
not require the district to fund that liability and set aside $231,000 per year; it is only a reporting
mechanism since the district does not pay any portion of the retirees’ premiums.
Mary Harshberger asked that the Board consider this issue over a longer span of time. Sherrill
Helzer was bothered by the lack of communication as she just found out. Ron Halley asked for
clarification that if the retirees are not costing the district anything because they pay their
premiums, and the district does not pay their claim, how does this cause a liability to the district.
Eddington asked Matt Kruse again if the booked funds do not have to be paid. Kruse responded
that was correct. Jolovich asked if it was possible to determine what the actual retiree cost is to
the district; he would like to see the Board work with that group to solve this. Eddington asked
Maureen Reichert to get the previous information that indicated the biggest cost was not coming
from the retirees, but from the birth of babies etc; the retirees were not a burden at that time.
Clint Pace indicated he called WEBT asking for the cost breakdown. It will be available in
March. Eddington asked for clarification of the $231,000 annual liability.
Business Manager Marcy Cates said that accounting laws require the district to report the cost
of providing the cost difference. The obligation that must be booked is coming out of the
general fund and placed in “escrow,” therefore reducing our contingency by that amount every
year. It is assumed that one way or another, the obligation is there.
If retirees were paying a different retiree premium, this would not be an issue at all. The
$231,000 annual liability for the next 30 years was calculated by Fall River Consulting, who was
approved by the Board to complete an audit on retirees’ health insurance. The existing pool of
participants was researched, with a dollar amount of risk assigned based on an individual’s age.
Based upon our pool and when members will be reaching the age of 65, that is how the $2.974
million liability was calculated. With the retirees in the same pool, the district is obligated to
conduct an audit every 2 years, a current cost of approximately $10,000.
Fall River analyzed data directly from the district. Since the district is paying the premiums of
active employees, there is more risk with the retirees in the same pool. District premiums would
actually be less, and the overall cost to the district would actually less since the district pays all
active employee premiums. Marcy will contact WEBT to find the difference in the cost.
Eddington asked why retirees and staff were not given more notice about what is happening.
Superintendent Schulte indicated that there are two issues: do we continue to allow retiree
participation, and what will happen with them in the future? There needs to be a decision, but at
this point in time did not know what to notify them about specifically; it was a surprise for the
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There are options presented for consideration. Mr. Schulte said that there is a concern that if
the legislature eliminates the health insurance offering and asks us to join the state health
insurance pool, we would also be out of WEBT. Jolovich asked for research as to what rates
would be without the 42 retirees. Eddington stated that the district needs to get input and give
notice, and that it is not fair to take away something.
Kaufman moved to table taking action on a decision regarding retirees’ participation in district
health insurance plan. Eddington seconded.
Johnson asked about moving back the date for the early resignation incentive; Mr. Schulte
stressed the need to be recruiting for new teachers as early as possible. He asked the Board to
look at the recommendation, and then the district could wait and see by May what may need to
be done; current employees will then know what to do before February 1. Karen Stricker said
that potential retirees will forgo the $1000 early resignation incentive in order to wait and see
what happens with insurance.
The question was called. All in favor. Carried unanimously.
Johnson moved to move incentive back to March 1; no second was made. Motion defeated.
Branham moved to approve the purchase of 75 laptop computer and three mobile security carts
from Dell Inc in the total amount of $90,609.57. Johnson seconded. Carried unanimously.
Jolovich moved to approve contracting with Centrifuge Solutions LLC as district website host
from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2012 in the total contract amount of $21,000.00. Johnson
seconded. Carried unanimously.
Branham moved to approve the proposed revisions to District Policy 5125 (Student Records) on
first reading as presented, with second reading in February: Policy – editorial revision;
Administrative Regulation 1 – revision; Administrative Regulation 2 – new; and Administrative
Regulation 3 – new. Kaufman seconded. Carried unanimously.
Johnson moved to approve offering a contract to Superintendent Ray Schulte for July 1, 2010
through June 30, 2012 with salary to be determined at a later date. Jolovich seconded. Carried
Johnson moved to approve offering a contract to Assistant Superintendent Roger Humphrey for
July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 with salary to be determined at a later date. Kaufman
seconded. Carried unanimously.
There will be a Board Work Session with a Parent Focus Group on Tuesday, January 26, 2010
at Torrington Middle School at 7:00 p.m. The next Board Regular Board meeting will be
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
In the Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Schulte said that upcoming legislative issues will be the
Body of Evidence, health insurance, foreign language instruction for grades K-5, instructional
facilitator funding, and the current state retirement contribution rates.
As a reminder, district graduation times on Sunday, May 23 will be: Lingle 1:00, Southeast
3:00, and Torrington 5:00 p.m.
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Superintendent Schulte is forming a committee with representation from each building to
discuss district work day and work week expectations. Information will be reported to the Board
in March or April. There is a lack of consistency throughout the district, especially since many
secondary staff are shared between attendance areas.
The Salary Relations Committee will be meeting to discuss the proposed appeals process for
placement on the classified employee salary schedule when EMS was adopted.
The LFL High School gym floor was damaged by a frozen boiler waterline and caused
excessive water damage to the floor. There are various options in repairing the floor, and the
district is seeking several opinions and will pursue the best option.
The 21st Century Grant will be administered by the City of Torrington, who volunteered to act as
the fiscal agent for that program. The district received a Memorandum of Understanding from
the School Facilities Commission. This will be brought before the Board in February. The
district has been seeking clarification as to what the MOU will do for the district.
Kaufman moved to call a special Board meeting on Wednesday, January 27 at 6:00 p.m. with a
representative from WEBT to further discuss the insurance issue. The Board will also meet in
executive session for salary and benefits at 5:00 p.m. Jolovich seconded. Carried unanimously.
There was no further business to come before the Board. Chairman Kessler adjourned the
meeting at 9:30 p.m.
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