Small Town News


District gets $101,000 in federal funds

Greybull Standard of Greybull, Wyoming

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Money has been earmarked for 2010-11 teacher salaries, benefits

The U.S Department of Education will be providing up to $17.5 million for Wyoming school districts under the Education Jobs Fund - and Big Horn County School District No. 3's share of that total would come to around $101,000.

The trustees agreed earlier this month to accept the funding, all of which is earmarked for salaries and benefits for salaried personnel working in Wyoming schools during the 2010-11 school year.

"This is money that is intended to help states and local school districts during hard financial times with employment issues," Supt. Roger Clark told the board. In his report, Clark noted that the money can be used to retain existing employees, recall or rehire former employees or hire new employees.

One stipulation is that none of the money can be used to pay the administrative expenditures related to the operation of the superintendent's office.

The district's plan is to gather representatives of the school board (John Ed Anderson and Dale Nuttall) as well as the Greybull Education Association and classified staff to come up with an equitable way of distributing the money.

In other business last week:

Brady Shoemaker, a junior at GHS, spoke to the board about his experiences with the Wyoming all-state marching band. A percussionist, Shoemaker was informed in the spring that he had been accepted into the band. Since then, he has attended a camp in Powell and marched in parades in Cheyenne and Rock Springs. Over the holidays, the band will perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.%
The board approved the first readings of several policy changes.

The first, recommended by the district's legal counsel, updates the district's Family Medical Leave Act policy to reflect changes that recently occurred at the federal level.

The second deals with national travel - and specifically, the process by which the board approves funding to support qualifying students. In the past, school entities examples would be the Science Club, FBLA, etc. - have taken their funding requests directly to the board. Under the new policy, the board would set a total budget and requests would go first to a committee of high school sponsors who determine who is eligible for board financial support. The committee's recommendations would then go the principal for approval. If the principal is uncomfortable with those recommendations, they would then go to the board. Trustee Dale Nuttall, who had called for the change at a recent meeting, called it "a good effort." Students would still be required to make presentations to the board.

The third and final revision dealt with the facility development policy, and in particular, the bond process.%
In personnel items, the board accepted the resignation of Greybull Elementary School custodian Tom Goracke, effective Sept. 30. To replace him, the board hired Tanya Craft, who was recommended for the job by head custodian Joe Forcella.

Jennifer Stewart was hired as an ELL (English Language Learners) para educator for the middle school.

The board also hired Josh Heinemeyer to become the head middle school wrestling coach. He replaces Shane Shaffner, who held the position last year.%
Several donations for the swimming pool project were recognized by the board.

Big Horn Federal donated $442.90, with the stipulation that it be applied toward the cost of a new swimming pool.

Engineering Associates, an engineering firm with an office in Greybull, donated $530 generated by individual employee donations.

Sletten Construction of Wyoming donated equipment, materials and two employees for a day.%
Among the topics of discussion during the administrative reports, the board took up the discussion of whether sixth graders should be rolled into the intramural football program. Currently they are included in the middle school program.

The discussion surfaced at the October recreation district board meeting. GHS Principal Mark Fritz said he had heard concerns about the lack of playing time sixth graders receive at the middle school level (because very few middle school programs in the area include sixth graders)

Nuttall noted that the football program has changed a great deal since the board started allowing sixth graders to play middle school football. Back then, there was no full-contact intramural program, so it benefited them. But with the evolution of the intramural program, the sixth graders "are penalized a little bit" because they don't receive as much playing time.

Two other issues were raised. One, sixth graders are often used now to fill in the gaps when there are not enough seventh graders to field a full team. And two, if sixth graders drop down and play at the intramural level in football, what about the other sports?%
Joe Forcella, the district's maintenance supervisor, updated the board on a number of maintenance projects.%
The quarterly financial report showed a cash carryover of approximately $685,000. It was noted that the district has been dipping into the cash carryover to pay bills because it has yet to receive Foundation payments. The carryover at the end of the school year is still expected to be around $850,000.

Original Publication Date: October 28, 2010

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