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Archive for Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Bell: Furloughs save Lawrence school district dough; Aiden, Kaden, Brayden most popular Kansas baby names; task force reports due

December 1, 2010

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Here's another sampling of news and information regarding area schools. Please feel free to educate me on items and issues I may be missing, at mfagan@ljworld.com.

•••

Sure, unplugging refrigerators, switching off computer monitors and turning down thermostats saves the Lawrence school district an additional $7,000 to $10,000 over the Thanksgiving and winter holidays.

Turns out keeping folks at home saves even more.

The district has ordered its 51 administrators at its headquarters and schools to be on furlough for five days by the end of the year. Four of those unpaid days will come Dec. 27 through 30, during the traditional winter break, to go along with the mandatory furlough already taken Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving.

Also ordered to stay away from work for a single unpaid day, Dec. 27, will be the district’s 153 classified employees who work year-round, including custodians in schools and IT, maintenance, warehouse and other staffers at district headquarters.

Total savings: $109,000, enough to satisfy a $100,000 cut to administrative salaries mandated as part of a larger $4.6 million cut the Lawrence school board approved back on March 9.

“The board had a long list of ways to save money, and salary reductions were one of the ways to do that,” said Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer.

•••

You had a baby last year. You’re saving for college. Dreaming about your son or daughter growing up to lead a fabulous family life and promising professional career.

But first things first: Who are going to be your child's first classmates in kindergarten, come 2014 or 2015?

Well, here are the 10 most popular baby names in Kansas during 2009, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s new Annual Summary of Vital Statistics for 2009, released Tuesday:

Boys: Aiden, Kaden, Ethan, Jackson, Brayden, Jayden, Jacob, Alexander, William, Michael.

Girls: Addison, Madison, Emily, Olivia, Emma, Isabella, Kaylee, Katelyn, Madeline, Ava.

Look for these names sewn onto the backs of letter jackets — or whatever they’re wearing — for the Class of 2027...

•••

Members of the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force have finished their homework.

But their project remains a work in progress.

Leaders of the task force’s four subcommittees had been instructed to submit their group assignments — reports about their specific areas of study regarding the district’s elementary schools — by 10 a.m. Tuesday. That followed Monday night’s introductory presentations at district headquarters.

By mid-afternoon, two of the subcommittees had submitted their reports: the “neighborhood schools” subcommittee, and the “physical development” subcommittee. (The names are in quotation marks because their formal names range from 13 to 22 words).

By day's end, the other two groups had turned theirs in: the “efficiency” subcommittee (eight words) and the “research” subcommittee (22 words).

To see the submitted reports, and other background information about the task force, visit the district’s project page.

The subcommittee members make up the 24-member task force. They're now set to convene at 7 p.m. Monday at district headquarters to discuss each of the four completed reports, in search of common ground and to work through differences on the way to compiling a single, consensus report. The combined report is due to the Lawrence school board by February.

The task force’s charge: “Recommend a community vision and plan for the school district’s elementary facilities that reflect the varied community and educational values and how to best reflect those values given the restraints of current and anticipated district resources.”

— Do you know of something going on in area schools? Drop me a line: mfagan@ljworld.com.

Comments

ronwell_dobbs 4 years ago

"Boys: Aiden, Kaden, Ethan, Jackson, Brayden, Jayden, Jacob, Alexander, William, Michael.

Girls: Addison, Madison, Emily, Olivia, Emma, Isabella, Kaylee, Katelyn, Madeline, Ava."

Aiden, Kaden, Brayden, Jayden -> proof that Kansans are fiercely independent and can think for themselves.

SHOCK! Katelyn, Kaitlyn, Kaightlynne, Kateilin, and Katelyyiinne is once again a popular name.

aRobot 4 years ago

"Also ordered to stay away from work for a single unpaid day, Dec. 27, will be the district’s 153 classified employees who work year-round, including custodians in schools and IT, maintenance, warehouse and other staffers at district headquarters.

Total savings: $109,000, enough to satisfy a $100,000 cut to administrative salaries mandated as part of a larger $4.6 million cut the Lawrence school board approved back on March 9."

WHAT?!?!? So they're saying that cutting pay for custodians, IT people, maintenance, etc. is being considered part of administrative salary reduction?

Let me see if I've got this straight - administrators (of which there are 51) have decided that rather than give up a tiny percentage of their overall pay in order to fulfill Board mandated cuts to ADMINISTRATIVE SALARIES they will make low-wage hourly employees give up 20% of their pay for the week before Christmas? HOW DOES THIS COUNT AS ADMINISTRATIVE SALARY REDUCTION?!?

Apparently, the folks in charge of the school district are allowed to interpret and manipulate Board mandates however they like. Either that or the number of district administrators is about to increase from 51 to 204...

Seriously, how about someone from the school district's administrator group come forward and explain this.

monheim 4 years ago

I too felt like I missed something after reading that section. One second they are talking about IT guys and janitors, then they are talking about how this is part of a mandated cut to "administrators".

I understand the administrators are losing 5 days as opposed to the 1 day classified staff are losing, and that could be interpreted as the administrators bearing a decent amount of the burden here...but...why furlough a janitor who makes $10 an hour or less and then call that part of a reduction in "administrative" salaries?

JustNoticed 4 years ago

Nice job of saddling your kid with a name that will forever be misspelled.

whats_going_on 4 years ago

I hate it when people butcher otherwise nice names by spelling it all nutty just so they can be "different"

It's not original...it's just a future annoyance for your children and everyone who has the misfortune of trying to pronounce or spell their name.

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