Offering Early Retirement
6:10 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Burlington Schools Allow Online Bullying Report

The Burlington School District will now accept reports of bullying that are filed online.

The Burlington School District has updated its bullying report form.

The school board has agreed to place the document on the district's website.

Superintendent Jane Evans hopes this step will encourage more students to come forward and report incidents.

"It will help them to not be seen in the office by other students," says Evans, "and since they can do it online, they can do it at a time that works best for them."

Evans says the online reports will go directly to an administrator so an investigation can begin.

She says the district has also simplified the form from four pages to just one.

EARLY RETIREMENT

The district will offer an early retirement incentive to its employees in an effort to cut costs.

Evans says the incentive is needed this year because enrollment is down about 75 students, which means hundreds of thousands of dollars less in state funding.

Employees are eligible if they are at least 55-years-old by June 30, 2014 and have been with the district for ten consecutive years.

The only limitations are than just two administrators can participate and the total savings cannot exceed $400,000.

They would be paid for each year of service and for each unused sick day.

District employees still have about three weeks to apply.

Burlington did not offer the incentive last year because enrollment increased by about 100 students.

SCHOOL BUS WARNINGS

The district could make sure parents or guardians are aware of disciplinary incidents occurring on school buses.

The school board is considering a proposal to require a note be sent home the first time such an incident occurs.

It would have to be signed by a parent or guardian before the student could return to the bus.

Evans says a couple of issues must still be resolved, such as how to make sure students actually take the notes home.

"Another thing is, if a child is not allowed to get on the bus and the parents have dropped them off at the bus stop," says Evans, "what is going to happen to that little kindergartener or first grader if they can't get on the bus?  Are they going to walk home to a house that is locked?"

Evans says the school board could vote on the proposal next month.

She says an increase in the number of disciplinary incidents on school buses prompted talk of the warning note.