Discussion of examining the possibility of contracting out the custodial responsibilities at Wellington Elementary and a change to the classified employee policy manual were two of the highlights of the Carbon County School Board meeting conducted August 14.
The issue of looking at contracting out the custodial services, rather than having in-house employees doing the work was brought up by Deon Kone the districts maintenance supervisor.
"We have had some real difficulty in keeping reliable help at Wellington Elementary and I think this might be the answer to the situation," explained Kone. "All I am asking is if the board is interested in pursuing this possible avenue to solve the problem there."
Kone went on to explain that he had been contacted by Varsity Contracting and that he had them look the situation over and that they had given him an estimate for what it would cost the district for the contracting company to take care of the facility.
"Of course I realize we would have to bid this out," he told the board. "But I thought it might be good to see what they would charge."
Discussion ensued about the situation as well as the pros and cons associated with contracting. Most of the board members were unsure where they stood on the issue without more study. But board member Grady McEvoy was against the idea.
"I don't think this is a good idea," he stated. "We have had this company taking care of the dorms at the college for the last few years and as of this year they are not doing it anymore. I just think that contracting this out might not be such a good idea."
Kone brought up the fact that the physical plant director at CEU, Dennis Geary, had reported to him that the company had done a good job.
"Then why do they not have the contract anymore?" asked McEvoy.
The Sun Advocate attempted to contact Geary about the situation at the college, but he did not return the phone call before press time.
The board of education decided to study the options before going ahead with requests for proposals from other companies.
The members asked Kone to gather additional information about the company and possibly get some references.
In a related matter, the board received an advisory from the administration that they are changing a policy as it relates to the classified employees in the district. The move, according to the administration is to get all classified employees working under the same conditions from school to school.
The change includes a directive that all full time employees must clock out when going to lunch and clock in when returning. In addition, so that things are equal across the district, part time employees, working under four hours per day will not get a break during their work shift.
"We have had some problems in both these areas," stated Kone. "I just need to know when people are on lunch or break and when they are not."
According to the policy full time classified employees get a paid 15 minute break for every four hours they work and get a one half hour unpaid lunch period during their eight hour shift.
This was not a board action item, because it falls under the power of the administration, but was put on the agenda to let the board know what was being done.
"I fully support this action by the administration," stated Jim Leonard, board president. The rest of the board in general concurred.
Other items on the agenda included the following:
The board confirmed the hiring of Tina Frame and Cathy Wilson at the Castle Country Youth Center, the hiring of Kristen Henrie and Jill Johnson as bus drivers, Autumn Sanderson as a Castle Valley Center Aide and Jaylene Shurtleff as the cheer advisor at Helper Junior High.
The board approved a change order of $61,597 for remodeling work being done at Helper Junior High and the Westridge building.
"There were a lot of things that could not be known at Helper Junior High until they opened up the walls," explained Kone.
Another change order that included a credit for $33,864 from the Mont Harmon addition.
The board approved a consolidated plan and a letter of assurance to be submitted to comply with the No Child Left Behind legislation that congress passed.
The board approved the career ladder plan submitted for this year by the Carbon School District Career Ladder Committee. No major changes were made from last years plan. The plan includes $600,000 that will be used for extra days that teachers must be on the job.
The board took no action on a request by officials of the Pinnacle Canyon Academy to support them in the application process for a "New Century High School" magnet school.
The boards reasons for no action were two.
One, the application period for the opportunity has passed and secondly, the design of such a program would require that over 400 students from the area would have to be involved. No one on the board or in the administration felt that the schools and charter school could muster that many students who would want to attend such a program.