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Administrators in the North Adams Community Schools have been deemed eligible for performance bonuses for the 2012-13 school year. The school district's board of education on Tuesday evening approved one-time stipends for administrators that are identical to those for which teachers in the district may qualify.
The performance stipends are made possible through a state Department of Education grant received by the district for the current school year. A grant application for similar stipends for the 2013-14 year did not receive approval during the most recent round of funding.
Superintendent Dr. Wylie Sirk said teachers and evaluators receive evaluations annually using a complex rubric that ultimately places the educators in one of four categories. Those who are graded in the top two tiers — effective and highly effective — will qualify for the bonuses.
The stipends approved by the board Tuesday grant $1,261 for each administrator ranked as highly effective. Administrators named effective are now eligible for a stipend of $1,009.
In other business, Sirk said visitors entering all buildings in the North Adams school district are now required to show a driver's license or other form of identification as part of the school district's safety practices and procedures. He said the new policy will ensure all visitors are accounted for during an emergency situation.
The ID requirement applies only if visitors are advancing past the front office and into the classroom area of schools.
In personnel matters, assistant high school principal Aaron Baker was named as assistant varsity girls softball coach. Sirk said that while the district has been hesitant in recent years to permit administrators to serve as coaches, he felt Baker's appointment would not be "problematic."
Sirk also reported that Trista Sikes has been suspended with pay as interpreter with the Adams-Wells Special Services school, pending a review of her employment status. In a memo to the board, Sirk said the suspension is because Sikes left her position without submitting a resignation.
Other assignments approved by the board included Jennifer Dick as a full-time bus driver and Jamie Wurm and Erin Baker as transportation paraprofessionals.
Approved as volunteers were Drew Derengowski and Scott Rayburn with the high school baseball program, and Cheryl Lengerich with the high school track program.
Also during Tuesday's meeting, the board:
• Updated its ban on the use of tobacco products to comply with new state regulations. The policy prohibits the use of tobacco products "in all buildings, grounds, school buses and vehicles by all staff, students, parents and visitors, at all events and all year."
• Reappointed Larry Isch to the Decatur parks and rec board.
• Listened as local photographer Brian Andrews leveled a series of complaints and allegations against school administrators. Andrews claimed that officials had breached a contract for photography services signed before Sirk became superintendent, and that he had been lied to repeatedly and threatened with legal action by several current and former school administrators. The dispute apparently revolves primarily over a billboard featuring North Adams athletes.
Board president Michelle Stimpson said the allegations "are not something we're going to overlook, but they are also not something we're going to rush into." Board attorney Scott Ainsworth said he would review the contract to which Andrews referred.