The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 1:00 am

SACS plan to come soon

New leader set to be approved ahead of deadline

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Park Ginder's first Southwest Allen County Schools board meeting as superintendent will likely include action on a plan and recommendations for the upcoming academic year.

That's assuming the five-member board approves Ginder's contract at a special meeting next week.

Few people participated Tuesday in a public hearing about the proposed terms, which include an annual base salary of $160,000; a cellphone allowance of $600 per year; a $10,000 annual transportation allowance; technology for a home office; retirement contributions; group health and life insurance; and sick and vacation days.

Ginder may also earn an annual performance bonus ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, and his salary may be increased by $1,000 to $10,000 during any year the contract is in effect provided his performance meets criteria as established by the board.

The board uses a modified rubric from the Indiana School Boards Association and goals set for the superintendent to evaluate performance, President Bradley Mills said.

The initial term of employment runs through June 30, 2024. It may be extended by an additional year up to five years depending on Ginder's performance.

Action on plans for next school year is expected July 13, the board's only meeting that month, Assistant Superintendent Lynn Simmers said.

She received approval Tuesday to apply for the third round of federal coronavirus relief funds so the district can remain eligible for its $3.3 million allocation. Grant applications are due June 25, she said.

“The way you're writing this, you're giving us flexibility to discuss this, get more input from local health officials, before we make our final determination on things,” Mills said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb last month announced local school boards will decide beginning July 1 which measures or restrictions are needed in their schools regarding the spread of COVID-19.

Simmers said she and Ginder have been collaborating with the other Allen County superintendents on the issue, and a meeting is planned with the local health department.

“We're engaging in lots of conversations because we want to be able to share information, data, that's prudent to allow the board to make wise decisions,” Simmers said.

Before the unanimous vote, member Mark Gilpin addressed the audience, which included multiple people who spoke about masks.

“I think it's important to reiterate just because we're taking this step doesn't mean we're going to take the next one,” Gilpin said. “We're going to think through this. The next step is probably more important than this step. This is just preliminary.”

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