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HNS School Board approves salary increase, updates policies

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington-Newcastle School Board Monday approved a new negotiated agreement with the Hartington-Newcastle Education Association.

Supt. A.J. Johnson said between a salary increase and an increase in health care benefits, the agreement amounts to a 2.8 percent raise.

The salary increase means the base teacher salary at HNS will increase from $36,800 to $37,450.

The school’s health insurance rates went up three percent for the coming year, he said.

Also Monday, the Board approved a special education contract with Fremont Public School for a higher needs special education student from the Hartington-Newcastle District.

The Board also reviewed and updated policies that had been proposed by Policy Committee members Candice Climer, Dana Rosener and Jason Heikes.

The policies outlined the terms and duties of the specific board officers and specified who has the authority to sign checks and warrants.

Other policies ranged from outlining how elections for officers will be held to how committees should be formed.

Supt. A.J. Johnson said the Board usually reviews and updates policies earlier in the year, but since the legislature adjourned late this year, the process had to be delayed.

If the legislature makes changes to school policy, the District’s lawyers then need to look at and interpret that new legislation to make sure schools are in compliance.

A policy approved Monday concerning civic education is a direct result of recent legislation.

The policy states that at the beginning of each calendar year, all Nebraska public schools must organize a committee on American Civics. The committee is then required to hold at least two committee meetings each year and one of them must be a public hearing to give constituents a chance to comment.

The committee is entrusted with ensuring that the school curriculum for social studies aligns with State requirements for social studies and teaches foundational knowledge in civics, history, economics, financial literacy and geography.

The State also mandates that schools stress the services of the men and women who played a crucial role in the achievement of national independence, establishment of our constitutional government and preservation of the union. Schools are also required to incorporate multicultural education into their social studies curriculum.

Elementary School Principal Sarah Edwards told the Board said the virtual Christmas concert is now complete. The concert can be viewed at https://m.

Edwards said the production would not have been possible without the hard work of Joan Hankins, K-4 director, Mary Hahne 5-12 Director, Mrs. Lambert Pk4-K director and Mrs. Rohan PK3 director as well as Barb Bowers and Janet Manz for their help in playing music and helping students to prepare for the concerts. Technology coordinator Cody Stappert was also a big assist as he helped get the concert footage cleaned up, tagged and uploaded.

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