• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Offering attendance incentives to school employees

Citing a shortage of substitutes, Woodford County schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins presented a plan targeting improved attendance to reduce the need for subs at a special school board meeting May 15. Employees would receive a $20 bonus for each month with perfect attendance under the incentive plan. Employees would receive a $200 add-on with 99 percent attendance for a semester. Anyone who has 99 percent attendance for both semesters would be eligible for a cash prize drawing on opening day of the next school year, according to Hawkins. “We think it’s going be cost-neutral because we believe we’ll save some sub cost … to pay out the money for this,” said Hawkins. He said another district has “seen quite a bit of success in terms of reducing sub costs.” “We thought it was a very creative way to approach it,” he said. If the incentives have a positive effect on attendance next year, he said the incentive program would continue. Teachers, instructional assistants, custodians, bus drivers, food service workers and other hourly employees would be eligible for the incentives; year-round administrators would not, said Hawkins. The incentive program would need school board approval before being implemented. The board could be asked to take action on the proposed program as early as June, Hawkins said. “It’s nice to look at (this issue) from a different perspective,” said board member Sherri Springate. She pointed out that the typical reaction to addressing a substitute shortage has been to increase the pay for subs. “Come at it from a different angle,” said board Vice Chair Debby Edelen of an attendance incentive program.

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