Vassalboro school board approves raising hourly wage for substitutes

Vassalboro Community School (contributed photo)

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro School Board members had the usual variety of issues on their Dec. 21 agenda, with more discussion than decision-making.

One decision board members made, unanimously, was to raise the hourly wages of substitute food service personnel, educational technicians and teachers to meet the new state minimums effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Board members, Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer and an audience member suggested offering substitutes minimum wage is not enough to attract personnel. Since Vassalboro Community School (VCS), like many other schools nation-wide, is struggling with staffing issues, board members are likely to consider further pay increases as they develop the 2022-23 budget request.

Pfeiffer reported that VCS has conditional approval from the state Department of Education to expand the pre-kindergarten program in the 2022-23 school year, if there are enough interested families.

The additional early release days approved at a previous board meeting started in December. Assistant Principal Greg Hughes said teachers found them useful.

Two early release days a month are planned for the rest of the school year. They are listed on the calendar on the school website, vcsvikings.org.

Hughes thanked the Parent-Teacher Organization for supporting school staff, and Pfeiffer thanked the many donors who made the VCS Christmas giving program a success.

Board members accepted the resignation of school social worker Tabitha Sagner. Pfeiffer said she has accepted a job closer to her home. “We will miss her,” he said.

As at previous meetings, board members continued review of school policies, approving an updated policy on public participation at their meetings, reaffirming the policy titled “Magnet School Program,” and beginning review of policies on dropout prevention and student conduct on buses.

Board Chairman Kevin Levasseur said he did not know of a VCS student enrolling at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, in Limestone, in recent years.

School policies are available for public viewing on vcsvikings.org. Under the heading “Main Office” is a subheading “Superintendent’s Office,” and one of the 10 items under that heading is “Policies.”

The next Vassalboro School Board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. There will be no school on Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

January’s early release days are Friday, Jan. 14, and Thursday, Jan. 27.

 
 

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