Western School Board finalizes contract with teachers, support personnel

Posted: Feb. 21, 2013 9:44 am Updated: Mar. 14, 2013 11:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

BARRY, Ill. -- The Western School Board finalized a contract Wednesday with the district's certified teachers and educational support personnel.

The one-year agreement for the 2012-13 year calls for a salary increase of 1/2 of 1 percent and a step on the salary schedule.

Superintendent Carol Frericks said the agreement covers 83 employees including teachers, paraeducators and bus drivers.

Board members also adopted a 1 percent pay increase for the district's noncertified employees.

Negotiations on a contract for the 2013-14 year "will start in the very near future," Frericks said.

Also Wednesday, board members denied admission onto school grounds for David Anthony of Barry until Feb. 20, 2014, when the board will reassess the decision.

Anthony faces felony and misdemeanor charges after a Jan. 31 incident at Western High School involving a teacher. Authorities said Anthony stormed into the school office that day, angry about something to do with his child who was a student in the district, and was charged after allegedly detaining teacher Laura West and making statements of a provoking nature, which caused West to feel threatened.

After the incident, the board boosted security measures in the district by locking entrance doors at all facilities, using personnel to provide access to buildings for visitors and supervision of students walking to and from the ag building and holding recess inside.

Frericks said those security measures will remain in place until a buzz-in system at entry doors in installed as part of a health life safety project approved in January.

"We look forward to perhaps having that installed during the month of March," Frericks said.

While outdoor recess is not available to students, the gyms are available during recess time and during lunch time for junior high students.

"Kids do get free play in the gym," Frericks said.