Altamont School Board Approves Cuts


Published on February 15 2013 11:21 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Altamont school board members this week approved cuts in personnel designed to deal with cuts in funding.

The Altamont Board voted not to re-hire junior high English teacher Kelsey Phillips, junior high Enrichment teacher Justin Harrison and Pre-Kindergarten teacher Kelsey Leitschuh.  The Board also reduced grade school Art teacher Rob Niemerg to three-quarter time, reduced General Music teacher Beth Lawler to three-quarter time, and reduced high school Industrial Technology teacher Ty Totten to half-time.

The changes were all approved as reductions in force, an indication that the moves were due to finances, not due to teacher performance.

The Board also directed that a reduction of $30,000 in Transportation Fund spending be determined, and a $50,000 reduction in the Operations and Maintenance Fund.

Altamont board members also voted to eliminate fall baseball, cross country, summer band, class advisors (one each in Grades 9 through 12), subject area coordinators, and the unit curriculum director.  In food services, the Board agreed to offer no free lunches for lunch supervisors and reduce cooks' time from seven hours per day to 6-1/2 hours per day.  It was also agreed to begin a transition of the junior high from an eight block schedule to a seven period schedule.

In other business this week, the Altamont board approved creation of a current events class at the high school, to be known as "Contemporary US Issues" to comply with State Board of Education guidelines.  The course will begin as an elective next school year.  Board members also heard that the District is still seeking a boys track coach.

Altamont Superintendent Jeff Fritchtnitch reported that insurance will pay for damage done earlier this month to the Altamont Grade School roof, less a $1,000 deductible.  Fritchtnitch also reported on a meeting earlier this month to finalize goals for a three-year tech plan, with improved test scores in Reading, Math and Writing as the goals.

The Altamont board also hired Eric Heiden as a junior high Special Education teacher, hired Lilly Loeza as part-time Spanish teacher, and approved leave for Jody Frost under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The Board also approved intergovernmental agreements regarding alternative education and approved an athletic cooperative with Altamont Lutheran Interparish School for boys and girls junior high track and field.