St. Mary Parish School Board OKs hiring assistant principals

CENTERVILLE, La. -- Three schools each will be allowed to employ an additional assistant principal based on enrollment rates at the end of the 2011-12 school year.

Bayou Vista Elementary, Berwick Elementary and Patterson Junior High were awarded the additional administrator at the Thursday meeting of the St. Mary Parish School Board.

Schools with enrollments of 401 or more are allowed an assistant principal, while schools with enrollments higher than 501 receive a second assistant, according to the school system’s salary schedule, Superintendent Donald Aguillard told the board.

Bayou Vista had 418 students at the end of the last school year, while Patterson Junior had 501 and Berwick Elementary had 564. There were a total of 9,410 students enrolled in St. Mary public schools at the end of the last school year.

Additional administrative positions will be opening as two assistant principal contracts were not recommended for renewal Thursday.

Kirk Courtney at Morgan City High and Dequindra Redding at Franklin Junior High will not be returning to their current positions next school year. No explanations for their departure were given during the meeting.

In other personnel matters, the board agreed to allocate $570,000 from the upcoming year budget to keep employee costs for single employee premiums near the current level. The school system saw a 12 percent increase, negotiated down from the original offer by Blue Cross of 14.5 percent.

The employee premium will be $198.46 for the top-shelf plan which also saw a reduction in benefits.

The office co-pay will increase from $40 to $50 and the prescription drug deductible was increased from $100 to $250. That means that beginning June 1, employees will have to fulfill an additional $150 for this year’s deductible before prescription drug benefits kick in again.

A second, less costly health insurance option that qualifies for a Healthcare Savings Account was added by the school board for a monthly premium of $95.19 for a single employee.

It is the second plan option that will keep the school system from paying an estimated $42,750 per month in affordability penalties under Obamacare in June 2014, the current deadline for employer penalties to begin. The estimate, said James Perez, the board’s insurance consultant, is based on current year premiums.

This plan has a $3,300 deductible for a single member and $6,600 deductible for families. It pays 80-20 coinsurance with out-of-pocket maximums of $5,500 per individual or $11,000 per family. There is no drug card and no office co-pay. It is available only to active employees and non-Medicare retirees.

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