YORK — The York Public School Board convened for its regular meeting August 12, 2019.
A diverse range of subjects were on the docket, including personnel evaluation formalities and district health insurance bids.
Considering the addition of two new principals, a bit of cleaning up was done on the administrative procedures for evaluating certified personnel. The York Public Schools Principles of Learning (POL) for levels of performance was added to the existing guidelines. The added POL is as follows: “Learning occurs best when rules and procedures are established that support student learning.” Sub-par evaluations at all levels include Intensive, multi-step procedures, including a professional growth plan. The discussed administrative procedure section details what evaluations entail, including a formal classroom visit and walkthrough, reviews of teaching artifacts, assessing student learning, and establishing and monitoring the classroom professional’s professional goals.
Considering subtle tweaks, the Board voted to approve the first reading of the policy.
Also covered were health insurance bids for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. York Public Schools received one bid, which was from Cornerstone Insurance Group. Ben Royal of Cornerstone Insurance Group and Todd Drapal of OCI discussed schoolwide health insurance with the board and fielded a few questions from meeting visitors.
Both Royal and Drapal said YPS’s health insurance track record, in terms of number and monetary amounts of claims has continued to perform well.
“Over the years you have been self-insured,” Drapal said. “It’s been very profitable for York Public Schools.”
(Self-funded health care insurance coverage is accomplished without the risk transfer by which traditional insurance is defined.)
When looking at drug costs, there have been some corporate shake-ups that may or may not have an effect on YPS’s current drug coverage.
“The pharmacy that York Public School was on used to be PTI/UTS out of Omaha, which was purchased by CastiaRx,” Drapal explained. A CastiaRx statement said the merger has resulted in a benefit manager that combines full-service pharmacy with specialty drug expertise. ”We’re in the process of evaluating pharmacy benefits,” Drapal said. “I’m OK with the same deal we have.” In the meantime, Drapal and Royal said, the effects of the merger will be researched. “We’re trying to make sure you have fair pharmacy pricing,” Royal said.
Offering meetings with employees concerning health insurance was brought up. “I think it would be a great idea for Todd and Ben to come in and educate our people,” said York Public School Superintendent Mitch Bartholomew. “The education aspect is very important,” Royal added.
Following the discussion, it was moved and seconded to accept Cornerstone Insurance Group’s bid. The board then voted unanimously (board member Jim Hoffmann abstaining) to approve Cornerstone Insurance Group’s bid.
Raising the Specific Deductible from $75,000 – which was the deductible in 2018-2019 – to $85,000 was included in the conversation.
Agreeing to a higher deductible would mean the insured would see lower monthly premiums, while saving money for the insurer. With other elements factored in, increasing the Specific Deductible would save YPS about $25,000.
“When we look at saving $25,000 that’s not huge, but it’s savings,” Bartholomew said, comparing the amount potentially saved with YPS’s total budget.
After additional discussion and clarifications, the board voted unanimously to raise the specific deductible to $85,000.
In budget discussion, Bartholomew noted the Sixpence Grant awarded had not yet applied to the budget, due to the award’s timing.
He also reported on that day’s YPS staff first day of school activities – one part of the day being reserved for staff community service. “The impact was there,” Bartholomew said. “I had a lot of positive comments afterwards.”
The board was informed of the progress of Back to School Celebration and Pep Rally preparations. The “Back to School Bash” begins at 5:30 p.m. in East Hill Park. The Pep Rally is scheduled to follow the “Back to School Bash” at 7:30 p.m.