Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Jan. 17, 2000

HLWW teachers settle contract

By Andrea Vargo

The 1999-2001 contract for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted teachers was ratified by the school board Tuesday, and representatives from the teachers' union signed it at the school board meeting.

Tuesday was the deadline for settlements before a penalty would have been imposed on the district by the state.

In the base year of 1998-99, total dollars for the salary schedule alone were $2,364,738 and the "total package" amount was $3,130,913.

The total package includes base salary plus pay for extracurricular, sixth class, and department head assignments; annuity matches, retirement plans, FICA (social security), and insurance coverage costs.

Total salary schedule dollars went to $2,498,698 for 1999-2000, a 5.6 percent increase.

The total package dollar amount increased to $3,299,357. Because the insurance portion increase was at a lower rate than the salaries, the total package percentage comes out at 5.38 percent, Supt. Riley Hoheisel explained.

Percentage increases in the second year of the contract, 2000-2001, were 6.9 percent on salary, and 7.1 percent on the total package.

Teacher representatives said that these changes bring HLWW from the bottom end of area salary schedules to about average.

This should make it easier for the district to attract and retain quality teachers, they said.

For example, a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree would start at $26,500 for this school year, and that would change to a starting salary of $27,100 next year.

A beginning teacher with a masters' degree would start at $29,000 this year and $29,100 next year.

Grad standards tests generate paper work

Many districts are adding more staff to help with the paper work for graduation standards testing, Humphrey Elementary Principal Dean Wessman told the school board.

Wessman said that the testing has become a big deal, and keeping track of all the tests students need to take has become a big issue.

Since he is responsible for the paper work as graduation standards technician, as well as curriculum director and principal of Humphrey Elementary, Wessman explained that his time is stretched very thin.

It has gotten so bad that he is using a visual cue for what issues he will discuss. When he wears a tie, he is a principal, but if he doesn't have one on he will discuss grad standards or curriculum, he said.

"I can't stay focused on curriculum and grad standards, when I'm being a principal," said Wessman.

Pending board approval, Julie Stifter, who works in the Winsted Elementary office, can spend time working on the grad standards, in order to take some of the pressure off Wessman, said HLWW Superintendent Riley Hoheisel.

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