IW school board OKs bid for Windsor High renovations

Published 11:52 am Saturday, May 27, 2017

Isle of Wight County’s School Board voted 3-0 with two absent on Friday morning to accept a bid by the A.R. Chesson Construction Company to create a new cosmetology space and greenhouse at Windsor High School. The Elizabeth City, North Carolina-based company quoted IWCS a price of $687,232 for the project, which will implement the first phase of the division’s recently-approved in-house career and technical education plan.

Funds for the project will come from the $7.9 million loan the county’s Board of Supervisors agreed to give the division in April for the purposes of implementing its CTE plan. Chesson will also handle all construction in the transformation of Windsor High’s old cafeteria into a new collaboration space. However, since the plans for collaborative spaces were struck from the CTE plan, funding for that project, which Chesson estimated to cost $142,360, will come from the division’s furniture budget for fiscal year 2017-2018.

The board also voted 3-0 to approve a revised pay scale for teachers, which will give raises ranging from 2 percent to 7.2 percent to those transitioning from one step to another as of Feb. 1, 2018. The division uses a 30-step pay scale to pay its teachers based on their total number of years teaching regardless of how long they have been with the division.

Per the new pay scale, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree considered a step-1 teacher from July 1 through Jan. 31 during the 2017-2018 school year would earn an annual salary of $41,160 for that time period. On Feb. 1, he or she would transition to step-2 and earn $42,136 annually. Since the pay scale has no steps beyond 30, any teachers with 30 years experience or more as of Feb. 1 would be capped at a salary of $70,537.

Raises will also be given to bus attendants and school nurses.

The board then voted 2-0 with one abstention to approve changes to the division’s health and dental insurance plan. Per a recommendation from Rachel Yates, director of budget and finance, the division will remain with Optima as its insurance provider for the 2017-2018 school year and will discontinue its two highest deductible policy options.

“Nobody will lose coverage; they will just have to choose between these two [remaining] plans,” Yates said. “The only thing that would change is their copays and deductibles, and these two [remaining plans] have much lower deductibles than the two highest plans, so it will cost them less out of pocket.”

Smithfield school board representative Kirstin Cook abstained from the vote on the grounds that her husband was a dentist, and, as such, would be impacted by the change.

The changes to the division’s pay scale will be presented in greater detail to the public during the next regular scheduled school board meeting on June 8 at 6 p.m.