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August 28 Board Meeting Highlights

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Here are some of the highlights from the August 28, Ephrata School Board meeting. Members of the public are always welcome to attend board meetings. Meeting dates and times, board agendas and other information

Rehiring of Retired School Employees 
The Ephrata School District has experienced a shortage of qualified applicants available for various positions throughout the district. This is especially true after the school year begins. To address the shortage, the board agreed to rehire retired school employees when needed. Potential rehires must have retired from the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), the School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) or the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). Available Open Positions. Additional information on the procedure for rehiring can be found in School Board Policy 5001.

Expansion of the EHS College in the Classroom Program
The Ephrata School Board agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with Eastern Washington University (EWU) to provide college level classes at Ephrata High School (EHS). College in the High School allows high school students the ability to earn college credit for qualifying classes free of charge. The agreement with EWU expands current College in the Classroom offerings to students. The district has a similar agreement with Big Bend Community College (BBCC). EHS students interested in College in the High School classes should speak with a school counselor. 

Purchase of New Bleachers for the EHS Main Gym
The Board approved the purchase of new bleachers for the main gymnasium at EHS. The $251,136 contract (excluding sales tax) with NOR-PAC Seating from Enumclaw, Wash. will replace the gym’s current wooden bleachers with polymer, ADA accessible seating for more than 1,000 spectators. The wooden bleachers were originally installed in 1986. The contract includes installation and disposal costs. Removal and replacement of the bleachers is expected to occur in the Spring. 

Collective Bargaining Agreement Reached with Teachers Union
The Ephrata School board ratified the district’s contract with the Ephrata Education Association. Staff shared their appreciation for the respectful collaboration that continues to occur between union representatives and management. 

The new contract is a three year agreement that revises language to meet the district’s current needs. Revisions include provisions for teachers that may need to cover multiple classes, simultaneously, and clarifying language on how teachers are paid for instructing college classes. Teacher wages will increase inline with the Implicit Price Deflator (IPD*) during the 2023-2024 school year. In the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 school year, teachers will receive IPD plus 1.3 percent and IPD plus 1.5 percent respectively. In addition, teachers with 17+ years of service will receive an 25 percent increase to their longevity pay stipend. These stipends will be paid over 12 monthly installments and increase with the number of years served.

*The IPD is a figure used to measure inflation by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is an alternative measure of inflation to the Consumer Price Index.

The board recognized the generosity of community members that recently made donations to the district. By policy, the school board must approve any donation of money, materials or equipment having a value of $500 or more. Our sincere thanks go out to:

  • Pat and Lea Patterson who graciously donated music, method books, music stands and instruments to Ephrata High School. These items will serve music students for years to come.
  • Carol Moore who donated funds to support student and staff needs at Ephrata Middle School.