Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

School board discusses pay for performance structure

E.M. Schultz
Posted 10/9/19

REGIONAL – At-will employees in the St. Louis County School District may soon have a new pay for performance structure.

The school board discussed three possible options at a working session in …

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School board discusses pay for performance structure

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REGIONAL – At-will employees in the St. Louis County School District may soon have a new pay for performance structure.

The school board discussed three possible options at a working session in Virginia on Tuesday evening. Two of the three options would implement pay ranges for each position, complete with a cap, and all three options would be based on an individual’s job performance.

These pay ranges would be evaluated every two to three years, leaving room for salary increases for those who have already topped out.

Board members were unable to come to an agreement on which option should be put on the agenda for the next school board meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at South Ridge. This was due, in part, to a lack of documentation that had been previously requested by the school board. South Ridge member Christine Taylor and Chair Dan Manick both expressed concern over the lack of transparency.

“It just always feels like when we come down to the pay for the people who are not under contracts in this school district, we’re just supposed to take your guys’ word for it,” said Taylor, “And I don’t really like to do that.”

Business manager Kim Johnson didn’t seem to understand why board members wanted to see the documentation.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me, that a school board would want to dig into something-” she started saying, before being cut off by Taylor.

Chris Koivisto backed Taylor and Manick, saying, “It’s the information that we asked for, is all. That’s the frustrating part, is that it would be easy to provide three examples that they came up with to get the range.”

Superintendent Reggie Engebritson asked how deep into the weeds board members wanted to go but did agree to get them the requested information.

The school board also debated whether or not they should consider paying for student council advisors to attend nationals with their students. This issue came about after the advisor of the Cherry student council attended nationals and discovered that the majority of advisors there had had their trips funded by their school boards.

This topic sparked a discussion amongs school board members on what the role of the student advisors should be and what their duties involved. Taylor suggested having one person who would be responsible for coordinating what was going on at the schools. This person would look at each campus and try to implement best practices at each school. She believed this would help hold employees accountable and equalize school programs throughout the district.

Koivisto pointed out that at this time there are no expectations for advisors. He believed having clear expectations would be helpful and that determining what they would be was the job of the principals and Engebritson.

Overall, the board agreed that there should be clear language defining the role of student advisors. Engebritson said she would speak with the teacher’s union representative to see if they could draft something that would help define the expectations, which satisfied the board.

In other business, board members:

Heard from Anne Christensen on the state of Indian Ed. programs in the district. She gave a detailed report on Check and Connect, a program that was implemented last year and addressed questions regarding the efficacy of this program. She also spoke about the Dreamcatcher program and expressed a desire to work cooperatively with the Fond du Lac and Bois Forte reservations to help prepare students for life after graduation.

Discussed sharing the cost of a school resource officer, or SRO, for Tower with Mt. Iron-Buhl. Engebritson said she would speak with the MIB school board about the option. If approved, the SRO would spend four days at MIB and one at Tower and would cost the district $6,600.

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