Short and sweet board meeting kicks off the New Year

On Tuesday, January 15 2019, the Nome Public School Board of Education gathered for a regular meeting in the Nome Elementary School library. The meeting was “short and sweet,” in the words of Board President Brandy Arrington, and reports and action items were addressed quickly.

In his report, Superintendent Bill Schildbach addressed the district’s health insurance policy. Teachers and staff members suffered tremendous cost increases at the start of the school year. Premiums increased by hundreds of dollars per month for individual and family plans. The district switched to a group insurance plan with hopes of saving money the previous year, but when the number of claims came in higher than expected, monthly premiums went up and staff members are paying the price.

Now, the school is in a position to go out for insurance bids, hoping for an offer from a new company at a lower rate. Superintendent Schildbach reported that the bid paperwork is nearly complete and bids should be back by the first week in February.

Schildbach also reported that the district applied for a community share benefit of $30,000 to be used for replacing the district’s phone system.

In his report, NBHS Principal Jon Berkeley reported that Winterim classes are going well. The courses, which started January 14, are finishing up this week on January 25. Winterim takes place after holiday break and before the start of the spring semester. The courses are designed to give students a taste of topics not typically offered in their normal curriculum, or a chance to dive deeper into subjects they are most interested in.

This year, junior and senior high students selected from a list of 16 classes. Topics include small engine maintenance, culinary arts, seal skin and beaver hat making, cold water safety, sewing basics and more.

In action items, Superintendent Schildbach recommended administrator contracts for school year 2019/20 to the board. The new contracts for Jon Berkeley, Jamie Burgess, Mindi Burford, Jon Dowell and Elizabeth Dillman were approved. It was noted that 2019/20 contracts are already in place for Principals Lisa Leeper (Anvil City Science Academy) and Elizabeth Korenek-Johnson (Nome Elementary School).

During Business Manager Genevieve Collins’ report, it was expressed that the district’s finances are looking good to date. The fiscal year 2019 budget revision has been finished and will be ready for review by the board at the next meeting.

Also at last Tuesday’s meeting, students of the month for December were recognized: for Nome-Beltz Junior High School Sierra Aningayou, for Nome-Beltz Senior High School Gareth Hansen, for Anvil City Science Academy Taylor Gorn (November) and Kellie Miller (December).

The board will reconvene for a regular meeting on Tuesday, February 12 in the Nome Elementary School library.

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

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