The Crosslake Community School playground is nearly complete, with just wood chips and concrete curbing left to do.

Executive Director Todd Lyscio thanked the more than 30 volunteers who stepped up last week to help in the construction. At the Monday, Aug. 12, school board meeting, he noted that board member Mitch Swaggert in particular took charge of the project.

“We wouldn’t have a playground if it wasn’t for Mitch,” Lyscio said.

Everyone from parents, board members and staff to community members volunteered to help. Some businesses donated food and other supplies. Lyscio said he was grateful, once again, for the community’s support of Crosslake Community School.

In other school board action, board members authorized a 3% wage increase and a new four-step salary grid for support staff so the school’s hourly rate is more competitive with other area schools. Lyscio said other schools do offer benefits, including health insurance, to their support staff and Crosslake does not.

According to the new salary grid, school administrative assistant/school registrar will make from $16.51 up to $18.04 per hour, depending on years at the school. Head custodian wages will be $16.25-$17.76 per hour, custodians will earn $15-$16.39 per hour, paraprofessionals will earn $13.81-$15.09 per hour, food service employees will make $15.10-$16.50 per hour, and cook helpers will earn $13.81-$15.09 per hour.

Unlike the teacher salary grid, which has 24 steps, once a support staff member reaches beyond four years at the school, there will only be 1% inflationary annual wage increases unless the board changes this in the future.

Board members spent considerable time discussing the job description for a dean of students position. While Lyscio recommended that this role include some oversight into curriculum and instruction and responsibility over teaching staff, a few board members, also teachers, disagreed.

Board member and teacher Lance Swanson said he had difficulty with the fact that an administrative license wasn’t required for this position, which would hold authority over teaching staff. Board member Lisa Steffen, also a teacher, pointed out that technically the school’s executive director did not need to hold an administrative license, per charter school regulations.

In the end, the board approved the job description and omitted the responsibilities involving oversight of curriculum and teaching staff. Jill Arendt, who will assume the role, changed from a director of student life position she now holds and will be paid $58,522 per year, which includes an increase from 176 to 200 contact days of work per year and an additional $8 per day.

The board approved the one-year transportation contract with Crosby-Ironton Transportation.