Cloquet School Board votes on temporary fix for building and grounds positionThrough staff repositioning, the Cloquet School Board has a plan for the vacant buildings and grounds director position. Board members approved of four agenda items during Monday night’s regular meeting that would rearrange custodial staff members in lieu of hiring a new director.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Through staff repositioning, the Cloquet School Board has a plan for the vacant buildings and grounds director position. Board members approved of four agenda items during Monday night’s regular meeting that would rearrange custodial staff members in lieu of hiring a new director.
The school board and a buildings and grounds sub-committee have debated the issue since former buildings and grounds director Rob Carr resigned from the position in early January. Committee members have worked with custodians to come up with a plan for Carr’s replacement.
“One of the things that our building and grounds committee is very adamant about and custodians appreciate as well is that we need to function as a team,” Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said.
There will be an internal transfer of a full-time custodian from the Cloquet Senior High School to the Garfield Community Center. That custodian will likely spend half his or her time working at the Garfield building and responding to districtwide issues, while the other half will be spent filling in at the high school and middle school so that other custodians will not have to put in so much overtime. A new custodian will be hired to fill in the vacant spot that is created at the high school as a result of the transfer.
The rearranging of custodians should cover the hands-on side of the director position, but to fulfill the administrative duties of the job, the school board voted to add an extra 60 hours to Administrator Steve Syrett’s work time. He helped with the administrative health and safety work prior to the district adding the buildings and grounds position. Syrett has agreed to help with the transition and staff repositioning.
Head custodians will meet with principals and the superintendent to make sure everything is getting done that needs to be in each building.
“We’ll have meetings once a month to look at districtwide projects and needs we could help each other with,” Scarbrough said. “We feel that with this plan we’ll move forward without a buildings and grounds supervisor taking care of some of these responsibilities.”
The district will continue on with the new plan until around June, when the board will likely take up the issue again and decide on a more permanent plan. School board members were initially wary of hiring a new buildings and grounds director because they wanted to see some changes in how the job was carried out.