The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 Board reviews emergency plans, salaries
By Seth Hancock
The Board of Education in School District U-46 will be asked to approve the district’s five high school’s emergency action plans for concussion protocol at its meeting on Monday, Sept. 12.
The board unanimously approved an update to its concussion policy, under Section 7.290, in July which included creating a concussion oversight team and aligning with new state law. The high school action plans were presented on Monday, Aug. 15.
Terri Lozier, assistant superintendent, said that under the new state law the district must “share with you the venue specific action plans” which includes “every area that could potentially need to have emergency medical responders called and/or have a trainer available.”
The five documents run through each venue such as tennis courts, baseball fields, etc. including emergency personnel who will be both present and on-call, on-site locations of emergency equipment such as first-aid kits, communication plans, the role for those first on scene and directions to the site for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) when needed.
Jeff Judge, coordinator of Health Services, thanked the concussion oversight team, which includes Judge and Lozier, for putting together the plans.
“I think it was a great advancement not only for the concussions, but with this program we have really awesome aerial views of every field,” Judge said. “Every field is numbered now, so it’s pretty easy for 9-1-1 to respond and know exactly where they need to go.”
Judge said the plans are posted at each site allowing family and others to know where to go and what to do if a situation occurs.
“I think it’s a great safety feature. I’m really proud of this, and I think our concussion team did an exceptional job with this,” Judge said.
Board member Jeanette Ward asked if there were any practice drills run to see how the plans would play out which Lozier said “we do, and each school holds those independently.”
Board member Sue Kerr asked if the home team during athletic events is responsible for their plans for away teams. Judge said “every venue… they are responsible for making sure these are posted” and Lozier added that “all of our coaches were trained today on the IHSA concussion protocol.”
Board member Cody Holt asked if these plans were shared with cities and municipalities to make sure EMS has the plans on file. Judge said they were and that “we do work very closely with EMS personnel, they’re familiar with all of our schools.”
Also presented on Aug. 15 was the U-46’s teachers and administrator salaries and benefits report for the 2016 school year which showed total salaries at $158.7 million and benefits at $29 million. Those numbers don’t align with what was budgeted in Fiscal Year 2016 as salaries were $258 million and benefits $93.7 million, and board member Phil Costello asked what accounts for that difference.
“The requirement is we’re to submit all teacher and administrator salary and benefits (to the state), but when we get it back there are certain positions and categories excluded,” said Jeff King, chief Operations officer.
Some of those positions excluded include positions like social workers and librarians. Costello asked why certain positions are excluded but King said “I couldn’t tell you why they exclude them.”
Costello also noted a “significant discrepancy” in differences and in percentages. The $158.7 million in salaries represents about 61.5 percent of the budgeted $258 million while the $29 million in benefits represents about 30.9 percent of the budgeted $93.7 million.
“Why would there be a discrepancy? I would think it would be pretty similar,” Costello said.
Costello noted that he didn’t expect the exact answer then as he found the discrepancy that day. King said he didn’t know the exact reason but offered: “Under the other benefits column, that’s what the district pays for the employee. There’s an employee portion as well.”
King said: “I’m sure there’s an explanation” and he’d follow up with Costello.
The board did unanimously approve that evening $7.7 million in itemized bills as well as $1.2 million in expenditures under proposals and contract renewals. A $57,492 proposal with National Lift Truck to purchase a boom lift was approved, and that will be paid for out of the operations and maintenance fund.
Under contract renewals was one that will be paid for by the nation’s taxpayers through Title I and II funds was a one-year contract costing $35,500 with Great Minds Inc. for training on the Common Core aligned Eureka Math. A five-year contract renewal with SirsiDynix ($459,032), a one-year contract renewal with AVID Center ($75,095) and a pair of three-year contract renewals with BMC Footprints ($65,881) and Blackboard ($478,989) will all be paid for through the education fund.