On Monday, May 12, the Mauston School Board held a special meeting for board reorganization. In addition, the board discussed a proposed model for teacher compensation for the district.

The board held a small election and the results were: Carrie Buss was elected president, Betty Kryka as vice president, RJ Rogers as clerk, and Brian Fox as treasurer. President Buss told the board members to take some time to consider which committees they would like to serve on. No appointments were made on committees during the meeting. The board then moved on to talk about the proposed Teacher Compensation Model.

Superintendent Dr. Christine Weymouth said the point of the discussion was to discuss some highlights in the proposed model, have open comments, and to have the board give some guidance on the model. Weymouth talked about the beginnings of the model, saying that the model is an effort that the district has been involved in for about 14 months. “In the spring of 2013, we predominately got started. We had about 18-20 staff working, coming together from time to time, to get our arms around this very massive thing; this idea of what teacher compensation could mean for Mauston,” said Weymouth.

One of the reasons the new model is viewed as needed is because the old step and lane salary scale wasn’t sustainable. Another reason was that the older model had very conventional perspectives on how teacher grew professionally, and how they should be compensated that way. Weymouth said the committee wanted a model that would fairly compensate teachers, to help them grow professionally, and be sustainable because it reflects flexibility.

The committee created six features. The first feature would be an equity compensation for teachers “with lost years” said Weymouth. “The lost years” that Weymouth refers to is when there were no pay increases for teachers on the old step salary scale. The compensation would take a percentage of the salary of those lost years. It would be awarded prior to July 1st, if the school board was to approve it. Weymouth also said this would be a one time thing to bring those teachers’ base pay up.

Feature two would have teachers prepare and complete a Professional Practice Goal (PPG). They would work with other teachers and the principal in their building to write this goal and then they will negotiate a base salary, which would not exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The third feature would have teachers complete a portfolio review. Over a three year rotation, teachers would have to gather artifacts that support their approved professional growth portfolio. New teachers coming into the district would have a four year rotation, which the first year would be a growth evaluation year. Every year, teachers would earn supplemental pay following the completion of the educator effectiveness elements. Weymouth said what feature three is trying to do is link it to state required mandates of educator effectiveness, and that the features aren’t trying to create additional work for the teachers.

Feature four would be a one time supplemental pay accomplishment based on their based salary to be offered to teachers who earn and complete advance degrees or certifications. There isn’t a set number on the supplemental pay because the district has to see what it can afford and what is fair for teachers in those programs.

Feature five would be an innovation supplemental pay that teacher may earn. Weymouth said this would look at how teachers in their work can create something new and bring it into their classrooms. She said it’s a good way to have the district’s system grow and do new things for the students. There would be a special application and teachers may earn this once every three years.

The sixth feature is based on professional development compensation. This feature might change completely because the state has changed having schools have 180 days requirement in their calendar as long as they meet the required instructional minutes. Right now, the feature would compensate teachers who attend professional development events outside of school hours and is approved by the supervisors.

The model is still in the development phases, and Weymouth said the features will continue to evolve and improve. There are many unanswered questions yet. However, she has yet to present the model to the entire staff, and she has to introduce it to them before the board can vote on the proposed model.