Early retirement considered for H-W personnel

By Marcie Klomp

Supt. John Carver talked about the early retirement package he was asked to investigate during the Howard-Winneshiek school board meeting on Dec. 9.

“Eighteen people showed interest. This did not commit them to it. And others who are interested can still do it,” he explained.

The board has to pass two readings of the package. The December meeting was the first reading.

The package requires personnel to be at least 55 years old with 10 years of consecutive service. The benefit would be the calendar year 2013 gross wages and includes coaching and extra stipends in addition to $90 per day for accumulated sick days. This would be paid over a three-year period.

Before the next meeting, Carver will find out how many individuals would be interested in taking early retirement.

Early retirement has not been offered at H-W for a few years and some teachers were asking about it.

• In other business, Karr Tuckpointing of Vinton, Iowa will be contracted to do the tuckpointing in the K-8 building. Work would not start until the spring and should be completed by the start of the 2014-15 school year.

• Board members Duane Bodermann and James Kitchen will work in a subgroup to actively pursue rebranding of the school district. It has been mentioned in the past how confusing the names of the district are—Crestwood Cadets, Howard-Winneshiek School District, Lime Springs-Chester and Elma Centers.

• Brenda Lentz gave the board an update on the Alternative School and how many students are being helped within its walls. She noted, “We try to get parents involved.” The big problem is getting help to the families who need it. “If [the kids] don’t get picked up for drinking and riving or drugs there are no services. We are the services available!”

She went on to say the program services 150 kids in the district.

Principal Tim Felderman lauded the efforts of counselors Scott Wiley and Doug Sickles, who go so far as to make home visits to try to “get” to the students.

Lentz said there is a truancy law but truancy enforcement is not aligned with that law. She said “Preventing students from dropping out is our goal.”

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