Thursday's unfortunate fire at Curiel-Reynolds School of the Arts left several unanswered questions for the residents and apprentices of the art school. A group of representatives approached the Spencer school board on Tuesday evening to ask the district for help.
In 2007, the district sold the Reynolds Elementary School building on contract to Tony Curiel, who then opened the art school. Under the terms of the contract, Curiel was to purchase an insurance policy for the building. Unfortunately, he hadn't purchased a policy at the time of the fire.
Curiel, along with several apprentices of the school, asked the board for time to clean and repair the damage on the building, and for a watchful eye to keep the art school on schedule.
The district still holds a policy on the property, but the board is unsure of what their next steps will have to be.
"There's several issues that need to be addressed with this," Terry Hemann, superintendent of Spencer schools, said. "We're not sure how the district can proceed, given that this is a legal issue."
The board is considering a special closed session to discuss possible options.
"We have to be careful and prudent as a board," board member Kris McDermott said.
In other action, the board approved the tentative agreement for the 2012-13 teacher contracts. The increase rate is 3.74 percent, which includes a $735 base increase and a $546 insurance increase. The total increase is $385,667 across the district.
"This increase was very near that state average at the time of the decision," Hemann said.
The Spencer Education Association has also approved this agreement.
The rate of pay for substitute teachers will maintain for another year. Substitute teachers will be paid $105 per day, and $136 per day when substituting for five or more consecutive days.
"We think this pay is competitive, and we'll keep it as is for another year," Hemann said.
Following discussions with city officials about reinstating the part-time school resource officer position, the board overwhelmingly approved their half of the commitment to the position.
The SRO will be responsible for 20 hours of work per week during the school year. Half of this will be paid by the city, and half will be paid by the school. Hemann and city manager, Bob Fagan, who have been discussing this position, estimate that each side will be responsible for paying approximately $9,000 toward this position.
The SRO will work to prevent juvenile delinquency and truancy, and will also be a "visible presence within the school community."
"We expect the SRO to build working relationships with the staff, students, and parents," Hemann said.
Several board members expressed that they are "excited to see this program return."