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Derby Elementary Board greenlights $186K washroom overhaul

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DERBY –– The Derby Elementary School Board convened on April 2, for their regular monthly meeting. The board took action on several key items, including approving a major renovation project and multiple personnel changes.

The most significant decision of the night was the approval of a $186,140 bid from Spates Construction to renovate a washroom and add a shower to the locker room. The project had originally been budgeted at $100,000, but rising costs required the board to allocate additional funds. The bid was the only formal one received, so the board will need to seek a waiver from the state before proceeding.

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In personnel matters, the board approved the hire of Kristen Watters as a long-term substitute, granted unpaid leave requests for teachers Onalee Hopkins and Abby Santaw, and accepted the resignation of Suzie Mager. They also approved a 5.5 percent wage increase for exempt staff positions for the upcoming fiscal year.

During her report, Principal Rhonda Reece shared several positive updates, including the hiring of a former student as an LNA and a record number of students being served by the school’s tooth tutor program this month.

Superintendent Elaine Collins provided an update on recent staff meetings held across the district to solicit feedback and ideas. The administration plans to incorporate the input into future professional development and improvement initiatives.

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The board tabled the appointment of a new member to fill a recently vacated 1-year term until their next meeting. They plan to discuss establishing board goals at that time as well.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

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