Prairie View board approves across the board raises

LA CYGNE – The Prairie View USD 362 Board of Education unanimously approved an agreement negotiated with the district teaching staff for the 2021-2022 school year on Monday, Aug. 9. The agreement included a 2.23 percent raise on the certified staff salary schedule.

Classified staff and administrators also received the 2.23 percent raise on their salary schedules. However, Board Member Brian Uphoff voted against the raises for administrators.

Uphoff was also critical of the perceived academic gap between girls and boys in Prairie View High School.

“Academic letter winners are 33 female and five males in our National Honor Society,” he said. “Do we have a plan to encourage academic success for males?"

“Our plan is to help everybody do better in school,” said Joe Hornback, PVHS principal. He added that there was not a formal plan, but the staff has seen some progress with strategies in place.

As of Aug. 9, the district received 96 new student applications. Most of those students are new preschoolers and kindergarteners, said Beth Sandness, director of student services/food service. She also said there were only four spots left in the preschool program for 4-year-olds.

The board voted to increase the cost of breakfast and lunch for adults after Sandness informed them that federal food program regulations required it. The board voted to increase adult breakfasts to $2.65, and adult lunches to $4.75 as recommended.

Sandness said that, because many students receive free breakfasts and lunches and the federal government increased the amount it reimbursed the school for students, it was necessary to charge adults more. “You have to charge more for an adult than the price reimbursed for students, or schools will be billed for the difference at the end of the year.”

Last school year, students were given three learning options: in-person learning, virtual learning (independent modules), or learning via Zoom into the classroom. Sandness said this year, all students will return to in-person learning, except one, who will remain with virtual learning at home. Zoom will remain an option in case of quarantine.

The board also voted to enter into a contract for district servers and switches to be maintained by K12ITC Managed Services. Out-of-date servers will be replaced by backing up to the cloud, with backup occurring continuously to three different sites in different states.

That will lower the risk of ransomware issues, as well as solving the problem of outdated equipment. Switches will also be monitored and replaced by the IT management company. That will save time and money for the IT Team, and replace the need to hire a contracted person to manage the servers.

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