The Voluntary Early Retirement benefit package will be offered to up to four licensed employees providing they meet the eligibility requirement for the 2021-22 fiscal year for the Baxter Community School District. The Baxter School Board approved the first reading of the policy during its April 14 meeting.
The board also discussed changes to the Voluntary Early Retirement board policy. Moving forward, the board approved offering the benefits package at the recommendation of the superintendent and as the district budget allows. This is opposed to offering it every year in the district.
“The reason we would have an early retirement is as an incentive to get some of our more expensive teachers to retire,” superintendent Mickolyn Clapper said. “If we offer it every single year then it isn’t an incentive because they just assume it will be there.”
Clapper shared it was the recommendation of the district’s attorneys and auditors that it should be offered on an “as-needed” basis. That gives the district the chance to look at the budget and see if it is an option for the next year and how many openings there could be.
If the package will be offered, the number of retirees the district budget can support will be announced at the board meeting where the net year’s budget is approved, typically in April.
“That will give them almost a full year to consider whether they want to retire or not,” Clapper said. “Then, they need to let us know by January if they are going to retire we then we know how much we know to plan for to spend out for early retirement.”
The board also approved continuing the current COVID-19 policy through the end of the school year. During the public forum, many staff, parents and community voiced their opinions on the policy, both for and against masks still being worn in the school.
Administration will continue to review individuals/outside groups who come in to the district on a case by case basis during the school year and those entities will be required to follow current policies. During summer break, any outside groups requesting use of the facilities will be required to adhere to normal access procedures and will be recommended to wear masks while using district facilities unless the CDC, IDPH and/or JCHD guidelines change.
In other business:
• Student registration fees will stay the same for the 2021-2022 school year.
• In the elementary school, Wonders curriculum for reading was approved by the board.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or email@example.com