Danville Schools give year-end bonuses to faculty and staff; Superintendent search continues

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Danville School system is giving year-end bonuses of $75 to all faculty and staff for a job well done through the challenges of COVID-19.

As a result of continued Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, which helps schools with COVID-19 issues, the Danville Schools have been able to pay extra bills this year. Able to relieve some aspects of the general fund, the schools are using an extra $25,125 to reward 335 faculty and staff.

Interim Superintendent Elmer Thomas said it will be a one-time reward, and it’s expected to go as an individual deposit into bank accounts around Jan. 5. ESSER funds are only available this year and next year. The reward is subject to state and federal taxes.

“While it’s just a little bit, we’re hopeful that after taxes, everybody will have about $50,” Thomas said.

“It’s been a tough year on everybody — COVID, getting started back, finding employees — and we do good work in Danville.”

In other business:
• Stephanie Abell from White and Company gave the financial audit report. She found no material weaknesses in any category.

• Thomas gave an update about the 14,000-pound anchor that was donated to Danville Schools. It will be installed outside Danville High School in the center of the front lawn between the parent drop-off and Lexington Avenue.
The anchor will be the center of a rounded outdoor classroom space with benches. The anchor is currently being sandblasted and it will be painted blue, with its chain painted the school colors of the individual district schools.
“Ultimately, we’re going to have students do the painting on that,” Thomas said.
The Board of Education passed a motion to work with alumnus John Carman of CARMAN Landscape Architecture, who will charge a $8,100 lump sum fee. The school can use ESSER funds because it’s an outdoor learning space.

• Owens Saylor of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, who is leading the district’s superintendent search, presented a timeline for the superintendent search.
The search needs a screening committee, which will consist of two teachers elected by the district’s teachers, one principal elected by the district’s principals, one parent elected by the parent-teacher organizations, one classified employee elected by the district’s classified employees, and one board of education member. Board Chair Steve Becker appointed himself for this role. One committee member must be a minority.
The Danville Schools published this detailed timeline for the search:
• Jan. 24: Closed-session board of education meeting to report screening committee results, finalize survey questions, discuss preferred criteria in a candidate and screening committee charges.
• Jan. 28-Feb. 11: An online survey will be conducted to collect feedback from various stakeholders about what they’d like to see in a candidate.
• Feb. 8: There will be an online screening committee organization meeting to elect a chair and review legal responsibilities, process and the board of education’s preferred criteria.
• Feb. 14: There will be a closed session via Zoom to go through survey results and begin developing interview questions.
• Feb. 28: The deadline to accept applications is this date at 12 p.m. The position is currently posted.
• March 3: This will be the first screening committee work session, during which applications will be reviewed, round two candidates will be determined and the vetting process will begin.
• March 10: Calls to references will be reviewed, and Zoom interviews between round two candidates and the screening committee will take place. The committee will develop a final recommendation for the board.
• March 14: There will be a closed-session board meeting to review screening committee recommendations, determine a finalist and finalize an interview schedule.
• The week of April 11: Interviews will take place in closed sessions, not open to the public because they involve personnel matters.
• April 18: A formal vote to appoint a superintendent is scheduled to take place at the regular board meeting on this date, which will be made public.
• July 1: This is the scheduled start date for the new superintendent.
The timeline is subject to change.