Sulphur Springs ISD Board of Trustees during the regular February 2022 school board meeting approved 10 personnel items as recommended, a Head Start budget amendment and emergency school closing wage payments.
Assistant Superintendent Josh Williams recommended that the board act to finalize the termination of Amy Anderson’s term contract before the end of her contract period. He noted that the school board members during a special meeting on Jan. 24, 2022, had made the the determination per DFBA(Legal) policy “for good cause,” for the proposed termination of Anderson.
After the decision for probable termination was made by the board at the prior meeting, SSISD sent a letter by certified mail the next day (Jan. 25, 2022), as required by law, notifying Anderson of the proposed termination. Per policy, she then had 15 days to appeal the probable termination of her contract to the Commissioner of Education, Williams noted.
“In talking to that office at TEA today, she has not availed herself of that opportunity to make that appeal. The 15 days ran its course on Feb. 9. So we are now beyond the 15 days. The cause has already been established. We recommend that you terminate her contract for cause,” Williams said, but neither he nor other school officials elaborated as to what that cause was.
SSISD Board Trustee John Prickette made a motion, which was seconded by board member Leesa Toliver, to finalize termination of Anderson’s contract before the term on it ended. The motion was unanimously approved by the school board.
Trustees had just approved a job swap on Jan. 10 for Anderson. She went from working in the Read 180 program to teaching an eighth grade English language arts and reading classroom. She was hired in 2015 as a seventh grade ELAR teacher.
Other Personnel Items
Among the personnel matters trustees approved following an executive session earlier this week were five notices of retirement, two resignations and one job swap – changes which will directly affect at least six of SSISD’s nine campuses.
Sulphur Springs Elementary Title I aides Carla Harper and Sharon Ferguson notified SSISD administrators that they plan to retire at the end of the school year. High School history teacher Michael Rave and Rowena Johnson Primary second grade teacher Trecia Back also turned in an early notice they they too will be retiring on May 27.
Susan Johnston, the SSISD director of special programs, plans to retire on June 15, 2022.
Lance Thompson’s resignation as a Middle School history teacher will become effective Feb. 24, 2022. Monica Weeks’ resignation as a Head Start 3 teacher at Douglass Early Childhood Learning Center will become effective March 1, 2022.
Finally, SSISD Police Officer Dee Dee Self has a new campus assignment. She moves from Barbara Bush Primary to Middle School, an opening created with Adrian Pruitt’s resignation last month.
The school board approved resolution 2-22, which defers to DEA(Local) policy regarding wage payments during emergency school closings.
“We had enough minutes in our academic calendar to where the kids were good shape as far as instructional minutes, but in order to get folks paid who weren’t coming to work those days, who won’t work those days, this resolution is required. It also accounts for the few staff members who had to work during those days -Dan Froneberger’s guys went around checking buildings, all those things. They get paid a premium rate of pay per DEA(Local),” Williams said.
DEA(LOCAL) policy stipulates that all regular employees, whether contractual or nonstructural, salaried or non-salaried, who were “idled” or instructed not to report to work during the emergency icy weather closing will continue to receive wage payments. Nonexempt employees like the maintenance staff who reported of duty Feb. 3-4, checking district facilities for ruptured water lines and pipes and any other potential damages from the frigid temperatures, snow and ice will receive a premium rate of pay for the essential services they performed during emergency school closings.
SSISD Board of Trustees Vice President Craig Roberts made a motion, which was seconded by Trustee Kerry Wright, then unanimously approved by the board, to approve Board Resolution 22-2 to pay SSISD staff in accordance with DEA(local) policy.
Head Start COLA
Sulphur Springs ISD Superintendent Michael Lamb, on behalf of Angi Edwards who was unable to attend the Valentine’s evening school board meeting, asked the board to consider revising the Head Start cost of living budget, by allowing $1,299 to be transferred to the supplies budget to the to the equipment budget to account for an increase in cost of playground equipment at the campus since the district applied for funding for it last spring.
Trustee Robbin Vaughn made the motion, which trustee Leesa Toliver seconded, to approve the Head Start budget amendment to move the funding from the supplies to equipment function.