Cedar Grove-Belgium School Board considers salary package tied to competency evaluations
Ways to reward teachers who excel professionally and in the classroom are being pondered by the Cedar Grove-Belgium School Board.
The incentives would be in addition to base salaries negotiated with the Cedar Grove-Belgium Teacher Association.
The board last week received a recommendation from its administrative team for a three-tier salary schedule based on teachersâ€™ education, competency ratings by the teacher and administrator and competency evaluation forms.
The recommendation calls for base salaries for teachers with a bachelorâ€™s degree to be $37,500 to $60,000; with masterâ€™s degree, $37,500 to $65,000 plus $1,200 for the masterâ€™s degree; and with doctorate or national board certification, $37,500 to $75,000 plus $1,500 for a doctorate or national certification.
In addition, teachers who significantly exceed expectations based on the competency evaluations would receive an additional $1,500. Those who exceed expectations would receive $800 and those who meet expectations would receive $500, according to the proposal.
Those who do not meet expectations would not receive a raise and would be given a plan for improvement. Those who do not improve satisfactorily by a set time will be recommended for non-renewal.
Current teachers will be placed on the schedule based on their education and salary, Supt. Steve Shaw said.
â€śThatâ€™s why the ranges are so broad,â€ť he said.
Several teachers and board members said the ranges are too broad and suggested an intermediate level be developed, which the administrators will consider.
â€śWe made our recommendations. Now, itâ€™s in your court,â€ť Shaw told the board.
â€śYou wonâ€™t see another one like it in the state of Wisconsin. I think itâ€™s simpler than 80% of the ones Iâ€™ve seen.â€ť
Board President Chad Hoopman said, â€śItâ€™s the top page (that sets dollar amounts for each salary tier and levels of competency) that scares me. I just donâ€™t know if these are sustainable given the economy and state aid.â€ť
Shaw said the board should be consistent when tying raises to competencies.
â€śYou canâ€™t vacillate,â€ť he said. â€śIf you say an exceptional teacher gets $1,500 one year and the next year gets $750 because of the economy, thatâ€™s not fair. Thatâ€™s why I recommend a three-year trial.â€ť
Hoopman said he likes the competency criteria and evaluation forms, but questioned if administrators will have time to meet with each teacher as required.
â€śItâ€™s an opportunity where as an administrator I can talk with a teacher about the direction theyâ€™re going and what direction they could be going in terms of development,â€ť High School Principal Larry Theiss said.
Elementary Principal Craig Gunderson agreed, adding, â€śIt gives us an opportunity to have another level of conversation. Iâ€™m excited about it because I think itâ€™s an opportunity to uncover another layer of knowing my teachers. We can get to know each other better. We can take a broader look at where they need to go in their professional development.â€ť
The recommendation also calls for reimbursing teachers up to $175 per credit for graduate courses in which they earn at least a B grade. The course must be approved by the principal for reimbursement.
Scott Tipple, negotiator for the teachers, said heâ€™s concerned that the proposed salary model doesnâ€™t reward beginning teachers soon enough.
â€śItâ€™s going to take a long time for them to get to the top of the salary level,â€ť he said. â€śThey might go to other districts where they can get to the top level in less time.â€ť
The board will review the compensation recommendations at a future meeting. A new salary schedule and competency evaluations will go into effect for the 2014-15 school year.
The teacher/employee handbook for the upcoming school year will be discussed at the boardâ€™s Aug. 14 meeting.
In other matters, the board accepted the resignations of fourth-grade teacher Sharon Ellifson and high-school secretary Helen Shaw. Ellifson took a job in Kohler and will pay a $750 penalty for the late resignation.
Theiss said he will review the office work load with the staff and may increase employeesâ€™ hours rather than fill the vacancy left by Shaw.
Two part-time elementary special education aides who will undergo specialized training to care for a high-needs student were approved. Shaw recommended two aides be hired and trained so if one is sick or leaves, the other aide can handle studentsâ€™ special needs.
The board previously hired Steve Farnsworth, retired special education teacher at Port Washington High School, as a special education teacher at the high school.