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The Telegram
  • Herkimer Central School offers retirement incentive

  • The Herkimer school board is offering a retirement incentive to all of the district’s bargaining units. The board voted Wednesday to approve a memorandum of agreement retirement incentive resolution. To be eligible, employees must be full-time staff members and must be at least 55 years old by the effective...
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  • The Herkimer school board is offering a retirement incentive to all of the district’s bargaining units.
    The board voted Wednesday to approve a memorandum of agreement retirement incentive resolution. To be eligible, employees must be full-time staff members and must be at least 55 years old by the effective date of June 30. Teachers must have taught 20 years, at least 10 of them in Herkimer, while non-instructional staff must have worked for the district for at least 10 years.
    Those who plan to retire under this incentive must submit an irrevocable letter of resignation for the purposes of retirement by Feb. 1.
    Interim Superintendent Theodore Kawryga said in a telephone interview Thursday the district would save money if some teachers or staff members decide to take advantage of the offer. People on the upper end of the salary scale could be replaced with people who would start on the lower end.
    “Part 2 of that is how many need to be replaced,” he said, adding the board will be looking at whether or not any positions that are vacated have to be filled. “If not, that’s a staff cut. You don’t have to pay that salary and benefits.”
    Kawryga, who started work Jan. 2 as interim superintendent at Herkimer, said he appreciates the warm welcome he has been given. He said he has spent time reviewing folders and papers previous interim superintendent Gary Tutty left and meeting with staff members. He said he had met with Business Manager Kurt Sunderland and started talking about the budget for the 2013 - 2014 school year. He also met with the administrators and has set up meetings with the various groups of staff members.
    “Today I met with the elementary teachers,” he said. “Monday I’ll meet with the teachers at the junior-senior high school.”
    Staff development
    Kawryga recommended the board consider changing from a paper and pencil to an electronic method of recording staff development hours.
    “Teachers are required to complete 175 hours of staff development every five years,” he said. He suggested having teachers enter the information electronically through the Regional Information Center at BOCES in Verona would be easier to track and more efficient. The center would download the information and send it to the state at the end of the year, he said.
    He suggested board members take a look at the program to see if they think it would be worthwhile for the district. He added the service would be BOCES aidable.
    “We have it in Ilion,” said school board member Nicholas Netti. “It takes some getting used to, but I think it will be a good thing.”
    APPR
    The New York State Education Department has accepted the Herkimer Central School District’s annual professional performance review plan, Kawryga reported. He said the name of the school district now appears on the SED website along with the other districts that have had their plans approved. He congratulated Tutty along with the administrators, teachers and staff who worked to draw up and submit the plan. He noted that any districts that do not meet the state’s deadline to submit an APPR plan stand to lose state aid.
    Page 2 of 2 - Superintendent search
    The school board’s next scheduled meeting is set for Jan. 23. The board will meet with Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES District Superintendent Mark Vivacqua at 6 p.m. that evening to receive an update on the search for a new school superintendent. Vivacqua is serving as the search consultant for the district. The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.
    Interviews with candidates are scheduled for Jan. 31 and Feb. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. ,with interviews with the finalists set for Feb. 11 to Feb. 13.
    The timeline for the search calls for the district to have a new superintendent in place by May 1.
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