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home : local news : local news July 25, 2017

6/26/2017 1:35:00 PM
Unit 2 has new four-year contract with teachers
Robinson Unit 2 has a new contract with its teachers.

The Unit 2 board Monday ratified a four-year contract with the Community Unit Two Education Association. Under terms of the agreement, teachers will receive a 2-percent raise and some annual, incremental increases on health insurance payments.

Language was unchanged from the previous contract.

Superintendent Josh Quick said negotiations went smoothly. He expressed appreciation for the work of the board and the cooperative efforts of the union.

In a related matter, the board also approved 2-percent raises for administrative and non-certified personnel.

In other personnel matters, Eric Dean, Ashley Kuhn and Amy Hartke were hired to teach summer school at Nuttall Middle School, while Janna Surrells was hired to teach it at Robinson High School. Christina Snyder was hired as a sixth-grade science teacher at NMS.

Dean also was hired as an assistant softball coach at RHS and Tara Apple was hired as an assistant RHS volleyball coach and NMS seventh-grade volleyball coach.

Deacon Faulkner was approved as a volunteer cross country coach at RHS and Emma Stone and Jayme Scott were approved as volunteer RHS cheerleader sponsors.

The retirement of RHS physical education teacher and athletic director Kelly Brookman was approved. She will step down at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

Leaves of absence were approved for NMS physical education teacher Mack Thompson and seventh-grade language arts teacher Lori Jefferson.

The board authorized Quick to enter into negotiations with the Farnsworth Group, an architectural and engineering firm with an office in Effinghtam, to perform the 10-year Health and Life Safety Survey.

Every 10 years under state law, school districts must have architects perform surveys identifying Health and Life Safety projects and offering plans for the work. Quick hopes the survey can begin this summer.

Six architectural firms recently submitted information about their services at the district's request. The board narrowed down the candidates to the top three and met with representatives of the firms.

It's been a dozen years since the district hired an architect. Should all go with the Health and Life Safety survey, the board will consider Farnsworth for future projects, such as long-term facility planning and proposed traffic flow changes.

Bids for various staples were accepted for the coming school year.

Prairie Farms will continue to provide dairy products for the district, while Aunt Millie's Bakeries will provide bread and buns.

Best One Tires will provide tires and service. Wabash Valley Service and Blackberry Farms will provide fuel, oil and lubes. Robinson Auto Parts and O'Reilly's Automotive will provide various vehicle parts.

Bids for property, casualty and liability insurance were accepted from USI Insurance and Weber Insurance. Unit 2 re-bids its insurance every three years.

Board members also purchased a used, 2017 bus from Midwest Transit Equipment. The full-size, 71-passenger vehicle has 12,000 miles on it and cost $73,928. Unit 2 will take delivery in July.

Board members also approved amendments to the 2016-17 budget.

The changes were the same as presented in May. Quick said that with the exception of transportation revenues from the state, which are lagging, everything is "pretty well on track" for ending the fiscal year as anticipated.

Also Monday, the board heard a request from Michael Connelly to allow sixth-graders to try out for seventh-grade sports teams, specifically the cross-country team. Sixth-grade sports were cut a few years back because of budget constraints.

In other business, the board:

• Established cafeteria prices for the 2017-18 school year. They are unchanged from this year.

• Approved this year's recipients of the Meadows Scholarship, Grant Oxford and Catherine Beals.

• Adopted the prevailing wage resolution.

• Closed and re-established the Revolving Cash Fund.

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