By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — In the absence of a bargaining union for teachers, the superintendent of schools in Elk Mound plans to meet with the district’s teachers instead.
Dr. Ron Walsh, superintendent, spoke about what he referred to as a “meet and confer process” at the Elk Mound Board of Education’s March 31 meeting.
Dr. Walsh said he has always met with support staff to talk to about their concerns, observations and suggestions for improvement but that he would now like to extend the process to include the district’s teachers.
Elk Mound teachers did not certify their bargaining union, so Dr. Walsh said that is why he is proposing to hold building meetings.
The teachers also will be able to talk about their concerns, observations, suggestions for improvements as well as salaries and health insurance, Dr. Walsh told the Board of Education.
“I think health insurance is probably going to be biggest discussion,” he said.
Members of the Elk Mound Board of Education and each of the three building principals said they had no objection to Dr. Walsh conducting the meetings with teachers.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Acknowledged that the March 31 meeting was the last meeting for Bill Moore and Jim Holte, who both decided not to run for re-election. Moore has served on the Elk Mound Board of Education for 15 years, and Holte has served on the board for 18 years.
• Recognized Kim Reese for her notable educational contributions.
• Approved building budgets for next year. The budget amounts are the same, although $1,000 has been added to the Elk Mound High School budget because more sports have been added and because football helmets have become more expensive.
• Approved purchasing a new 72-passenger bus from Mid State Truck in Marshfield at a cost of $80,330. The bus will be a 2015 model. Dr. Walsh noted that the cost of buses has doubled within the last few years.
• Scheduled the next school board meeting for April 28.
• Approved service contracts with CESA No. 10 and CESA No. 11. The Elk Mound Board of Education agreed to drop physical and occupational therapy from CESA No. 10 contract and agreed to drop the curriculum coordinator from the CESA No. 11 contract. The school district plans to contract with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls for physical and occupational therapy and plans to hire a curriculum coordinator for 100 days of the school year.
• Accepted in closed session the resignation of Josh Conrey, a bus driver for the Elk Mound school district.