Bay District School teachers may soon have a way to rack up an extra $5,000 dollars. Superintendent Bill Husfelt brought this idea up for the first time at the school board meeting Tuesday.
Currently, teachers who meet criteria and whose students show learning gains at Title I schools receive a $2,500 dollar bonus each year and Superintendent Husfelt said Tuesday, he wants to double that amount. However, no changes will be made until his proposal is approved and written in the contract the district has with the local teacher's union, the Association of Bay County Educators.
Learning gains in the lowest 25% of students weighs heavily on school grades and recent results showed four Title I elementary schools in Bay County had a "D" grade.
Husfelt says the bonuses will work as an incentive to bring the most experienced teachers inside the classroom that need it the most.
"You have some schools that really need more talented teachers, this is a way to lure them there and money talks, it's not all about money but if you area really serious about helping some schools meet the challenges they have then you should try to get the best teachers you can and what you can do is pay them more and let that be an incentive," Husfelt added.
Negotiations between BDS and ABCE begin Wednesday.
Bay District Students will officially be able to bring and use their own wireless devices at school next year.
The school board Tuesday approved the "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) policy after a public hearing. This means all students can now bring their own cell phones, tablets laptops or any other personal device. It will be up to the teachers on how and when to use the electronic devices and if they do, the students who don't' have the items will be provided access to one through the district. All of the Students' personal devices will be logged into the district's filtered Internet portal, blocking questionable websites and social media outlets, including Facebook.
"They can be more productive, they can use their own tools, own devices. They don't have to question how they work, how they boot up. We hope and feel if we can have a device in the classroom one deice can make a difference even if everybody in the classroom doesn't have on," said Bay District's Tamra Hogue.
Students will not be required to bring their own device; school officials say it's a privilege and extra tool for teachers inside the classroom. The new policy is already in affect, meaning students can bring their wireless devices when school starts on August 20th.
Charter School Policy Changes
After delaying the discussion, the Bay District School Board and county charter schools come to an agreement regarding changes to charter school policy.
In June, the district tabled the issue as charter school felt they should have been involved in the discussion. Board Member Steve Moss volunteers to then involve the schools in the conversation. District officials say the changes meet state statues and put in place roadblocks for big charter schools that are out to only make a profit, but charter school officials disagree with some of the policies. Either way, the board felt comfortable with moving forward with the changes.
"We had some good conversation about it and there was great openness to be able to have this dialogue because his does impact a considerable amount of students as this takes place," Tim Kitts said at the meeting.
"Some of the feedback that we got from them we did implement into the new policy, some of it the district didn't budge on. So it was a give and take, I'm not naive enough to think that it is perfect policy but it think it is a lot more fair and equitable than it was before and the information that was presented," added Steve Moss.
The two main changes charter school officials had trouble with was enrollment capacity amendments and locations amendments. These could give the district the right to terminate or revoke the charter's contract.
The school board also approved to set meal prices for the 2012-2013 school year. They are the same as last year and listed below:
Proposed Meal Prices for the school year 2012-13:
Elementary $ 1.25
Secondary $ 1.50
Adult $ 2.00
Elementary $ 2.25
Secondary $ 2.50
Adult $ 3.50