Girard OKs new 3-year contract with teachers

District hires third school resource officer

GIRARD — The Girard Board of Education has approved a new three-year agreement with the district’s teachers’ union that includes pay increases each year.

School Superintendent David Cappuzello said Thursday the teachers will receive a 2.5 percent increase in each year of the agreement.

Board of Education President Mark Zuppo said he was informed the 121-member Girard Education Association also approved the agreement this week with 80 percent of the members voting in favor.

Treasurer Mark Bello said the new agreement will cost the district an additional $320,000 over the three years.

The teachers’ previous contract expired Aug. 15, and the new school year started Aug. 21. The new contract is effective through August 2021.

Earlier in the summer, the board reached a new three-year agreement with the district’s 60 classified workers represented by the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 425. That union represents bus drivers, cafeteria workers, secretaries, aides and custodial staff. Zuppo said negotiations with the unions took four months.

In other action, the board approved an agreement with the city for an additional school resource officer to cover the district’s two campuses, which each have one building — one for kindergarten through sixth and one for seventh through 12th. Cappuzzello said the school district will cover costs for nine months of the year, which is 75 percent.

Zuppo said the district pays $50,000 for each officer, which includes benefits. The district now has three school resource officers.

“They are employees of the city of Girard. The city has the officers in the summer and at holidays when schools are closed,” Zuppo said.

Last school year, there were only two officers in the district.

Also, the board will review the district’s safety plans for each building.

Board member Karen Thomas said last spring, representatives of the National School Safety Association did a walk-through of the schools to look at what the schools are doing for safety. She said the officials praised the district for what has already been done.

Thomas said the represntatives recommended improvements since there is too easy an access at the administration building at the former city hall. They also recommended security cameras be positioned differently to see people entering the buildings, recommended checking driver’s licenses of visitors, not having election polling places at the schools, and using bolo sticks for securing classroom doors.

Cappuzzello said many of the recommendations the district already does.

“We will review their recommendations and see what is most affordable,” he said.