City school board amends insurance policy, to hold work session and meeting Friday

Thursday, October 11, 2018

BRANDON HUTCHESON

bhutcheson@stategazette.com

On Monday, the Dyersburg City School Board convened for its regular monthly meeting. Following the approval of the consent items, which included the agenda, last month’s minutes, an out-of-state trip for the DHS choir to Murray State University, and a certification of compliance (textbooks and instructional materials), the board turned to the one new item of business, a proposed amendment to Policy 3.600, Retired Insurance Policy.

Director of Schools Neel Durbin stated, “What we’re trying to do is get some wording in that policy for clarification. What we’ve done for our retirees is we pay the individual medical and insurance coverage. That’s available for any retired or retiring employee.

Speaking of the current policy, Board Chairman Dr. Scott Self stated, “Under the first paragraph, [it] pertains to certified employees. The second paragraph pertains to non-certified employees. I would like to have that heading for each one, so when the employee flips over to the particular policy, they know exactly where to go from there for their benefits. From how I read it, it didn’t jump out at you.”

Durbin read the proposed policy, and speaking of the first paragraph (Certified employee) he said, “Guys, this is what we’ve been doing all this time, since 2007. It’s just worded in the policy a little clearer than what it was.

“The second paragraph (non-certified) says the same thing [as the current policy] except you must have 30 years or more of full time continuous service. There’s not a 20 years with Dyersburg City Schools, and they’re not with TCRS (as mentioned in the Certified paragraph).”

Baker added that non-certified retirees must be 60 years old. It was not listed in the proposed updated policy, to which Durbin asked for its inclusion.

After further discussion, Gleyn Twilla motioned to approve the first reading of the amended Retiree Insurance policy with a second from Carlos Doss, which was passed by the full board. Jim Coy Houston then motioned to approve the policy on the second reading with a second from Dr. Matt Tosh. The second reading of the policy was also approved.

Durbin also presented the board with proposed insurance plans for employees, including state and private plans. Assistant Director Sandy Baker mentioned a survey of the insurance plans would be sent out to employees on Friday with their responses to be made by noon Monday, Oct. 15.

“We’ll give them the weekend to talk to their spouses and make comparisons,” said Baker.

Houston asked if there would be a presentation to employees.

Durbin said employees would receive information on the insurance plans and question and answer sessions would occur throughout the week, one at DHS and one DPS for any questions employees may have.

“If there are too many questions, and we can’t answer, we can certainly defer that vote,” added Durbin.

Under reports, Pupil Services Director Steve Nunley presented the Discipline Hearing Board totals from July-September as well as the current-year attendance numbers compared to the previous year.

“The DHA totals – it’s actually been a good few couple of months,” said Nunley. “We’ve had the fewest in a long time. Over the past 2 months of school, 8 cases [are] all we’ve had (numbers gathered were from DMS, DHS, and the College Street Campus). Going back quite a few years, it’s been a big difference. It’s been a good start to school, to be honest, as far as DHA goes.

“Our schools do a great job. They’re bringing the cases that need to be brought to us,” he added.

In comparison to prior years during the same timeline, 2017-2018 had 14 cases, 2016-2017 had 18, and 2015-2016 had 19 cases. On an annual basis, the numbers have steadily declined from 130 total cases in 2011-2012 to 68 during the previous school year.

Speaking on attendance, Nunley presented data showcasing the data from the first 20 days of school, plus the second 20 days, from the previous year and the current year, under the new attendance policy.

“We subtracted the two percentages (from last school year and the current) and found out if we did better or worse than the year before? What we found is in that first 20 days of all of our grades, four grades were not as good and the rest were better. We did the same for our second 20 days. We didn’t do quite as well, but as you see there’s more green [referring to the handout, showing improved attendance] than red [decreasing attendance]. And when you see the red, most of that is minute. We’re making some strides.”

The board then reviewed a lengthy list of student successes from the various city schools.

Prior to adjournment, Dr. Self announced there was a need of a board work session on Friday to discuss insurance. The board scheduled the session for Friday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 a.m., and as a result of the work session, a board meeting would occur thereafter.

It was also mentioned the Leadership Conference and Annual Convention will occur Nov. 1-4, with a regular board meeting scheduled for Nov. 28 at 5:30 p.m.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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