by Evelyn Pyburn
A committee of the Lockwood School Board recommended increasing Superintendent Tobin Novasio’s salary 6 percent for the 2022-23 school year, which was unanimously approved by the board.
Sylvia Nobel, one of the committee members, told the rest of the board that the committee reviewed salaries in the area and those offered to other staff, as well as job performance and how difficult it would be to hire a Superintendent. Their conclusion was that even at a six percent increase they were about 14 percent off from market reference points – it still didn’t bring Novasio’s salary up to what it should be. Nobel concluded, “The market sets the value of the position.”
That was just one salary adjustment considered by the Lockwood School Board on Tuesday evening during their monthly meeting.
The board approved an 8 percent increase in hourly wages to all non-professional or classified staff. Total additional cost to the budget would be $76,500, according to School Clerk Laurie Kvamme.
Also, upon recommendation of Supt. Novasio, the board approved a 4 percent increase to the base salary for Principals and Special Education Specialists. The board also added a 2 percent stipend for middle principals and assistant principals as compensation for the hours spent evenings and weekends covering other school related duties and events. High School staff would receive a 4 percent stipend.
Wages were raised by the board 5.7 percent for management level employees not on the matrix, which would include Don Christman, Marc Dearing, Darlene Hess and Laurie Kvamme. That raise is considered equivalent to the 4 percent increase on the base and the two percent stipend. That increase would add $18,000 to the budget.
The board also approved offering contracts to the classified employees (teachers) and for occupational therapy services.
Two events to be held at Lockwood School before the school year ends includes Patron’s Day and the Grand Opening of the new St. Vincent Health Care Clinic that is now open on the school’s campus.
The Grand Opening will be held on May 31, at noon.
Patron’s Day is a day on which individuals in the community are invited to visit school for the day to get a glimpse of the life of a teacher and to see how the school operates. The event will be held on May 18 and visitors must RSVP.
Because Lockwood has 32 students who will qualify for Early Kindergarten under its exceptional circumstances policy, Novasio asked the board to consider adding an additional Early Kindergarten class. “One classroom would afford us the opportunity to only serve 24 of these students (12 students per cohort, AM and PM cohorts). We have an additional 13 students who have applied and while they do not qualify under the policy for state funding; 8 of these students tested as at risk for us due to lower academic scores,” said Novasio. Two classrooms will allow the school to serve up to 48 Early Kindergarten students.
The board approved the proposal and extended a contract to Jessica Shade as one of the teachers for the 2022 -23 school year. They also approved the addition of extending the Midday Pre-K Special Education Route.