Cary District 26 school board approves salary increases, gets update on return to school task force

 
 
Updated 7/6/2020 11:25 AM

The Cary School District 26 Board approved a 3% salary increase for all administrators, except the superintendent, and a 3% salary increase for nonunion education support personnel, for the 2020-21 school year at its Tuesday meeting.

"We feel that 3% is needed to maintain our competitiveness to bring in quality people," Superintendent Brian Coleman said. "We're always concerned about turnover in the school district, and we want to maintain quality people for our students and our staff to work with."

 

Board members voted unanimously to approve the raises for nonunion education support personnel, while two board members, Kathryn Potter and Deanna Darling, voted against salary increases for administrators.

There are 16 administrators who would see a base salary increase.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Coleman updated the board on its return-to-school task force, which is made up of administrators, teachers and support staff from the district.

This task force was created after the Illinois State Board of Education released guidelines for schools to put in place as they plan for the upcoming school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the ISBE, in-person instruction is strongly encouraged, but "appropriate social distancing, face coverings, enhanced sanitation measures and other accommodations will be necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff and their families."

Coleman said the task force had its first meeting last week, and the team identified key areas of focus as indicated by the ISBE's guidance.

Within this task force, there are three working groups, which include a health and safety group, operations and communication and an instruction and learning group.

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Each working group will make recommendations to the full task force as the district develops its plan for the school year. The task force's goal, Coleman said, is to communicate a plan to parents by the end of July.

"I realize there's a lot of urgency to get this done as soon as possible as people begin to make plans for next year," Coleman said. "Our goal is to provide a safe plan for our staff and our students during a pandemic, as well as a plan that is flexible enough to adjust to whatever we may be facing in the weeks to come."

Coleman acknowledged at the meeting there is a lot of "angst" regarding the district's plan for the upcoming year.

"I just want to assure everybody that we're working our hardest and putting in the time to try to produce a plan that will work for our students and our staff and our parents," he said.

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