JPSB hears concerns on teacher reimbursementThe Jamestown Public School Board heard concerns about the way teachers are reimbursed at a meeting designed for public comment Monday. “I would like to make it better for the next person that shows up,” said Jay Nitschke, who directs the Jamestown High School’s one-act and three-act plays.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Public School Board heard concerns about the way teachers are reimbursed at a meeting designed for public comment Monday.
“I would like to make it better for the next person that shows up,” said Jay Nitschke, who directs the Jamestown High School’s one-act and three-act plays.
Nitschke said that while the district offers a Walmart card allowing her to purchase items for drama productions, there’s no way for her to be reimbursed for buying things from used goods stores.
Because she doesn’t know exactly what one of those stores has before she shops, she can’t get money prior to shopping. And because the stores will not hold items for her, Nitschke cannot simply return to the school and formally request the money then, either.
Generally, she just pays for it herself, Nitschke said — about $50 to $60 per play.
In addition, drama participants have been using Nitschke’s tools for building sets, because the drama department has none.
“It’s oversight. I don’t know a school district anywhere that doesn’t require administrative approval before (they) release funds,” said Superintendent Bob Toso.
A likely solution to the problem would be giving Nitschke, department heads and people in similar situations a prepaid card with a set amount of money on it that could come from the drama department’s existing budget.
Emma Mickelson, a teacher in the elementary-level Talented and Gifted program, also expressed concerns about the district’s reimbursement policy.
Mickelson had written a grant request, received the grant and purchased almost $500 in art supplies, but it took a month and a half to be reimbursed, even though her administrator had signed off on it.
Roy Musland, chairman of the School Board, said he believed the district should have a written policy regarding such issues so that teachers would know what to expect.
A few community members spoke as well, about the need for more drug, alcohol and bullying prevention measures and equal enforcement of school dress codes.
One man said his child had been denied snack time and meal time as a punishment. Toso asked to visit with him after the meeting.
Withholding food as a punishment is not district policy, Toso said, and the issue will be discussed with the building’s administrator to determine what occurred and what options to pursue.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be
reached at 701-952-8453
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