WHO: Independence Board of Education

WHEN: Tuesday, June 10

MEETING HIGHLIGHT: The start and end times at Independence schools have been changed for the 2014-15 school year.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: All grade level buildings will now have a uniform 6 hour, 54 minute day of school compared to the inconsistent hours from this past school year. High schools will begin at 7:20 a.m. and end at 2:14 p.m.; middle schools from 8:05 a.m. to 3:09 p.m.; elementary schools from 9 a.m. to 3:54 p.m. (These new elementary start and end times also apply to Benton and Randall elementary schools, which have been using a high school bell schedule.) The reason for the change was to address the traffic congestion that occurred before and after school at the district’s middle school campus along Speck Road, said deputy superintendent Lance Stout. The new bell times are to create more efficiency in student transportation, he added.

OTHER TOPICS OF NOTE: The board accepted a bid from Toshiba for a new scoreboard/video display at the District Football Field, near William Chrisman High School. The 10-by-17-foot screen will able to play pre-recorded video clips and costs $148,412. Superintendent Dale Herl said donations and sponsorships will cover the costs. The scoreboard/video display should be installed by this upcoming high school football season. | Independence teacher salaries are expected to increase by 3.16 percent for the 2015 fiscal year. Both the district and National Education Association chapter president Annette Doyle agreed on a plan that will increase base index pay by $200, with additional step pay based on where a teacher is on the district’s degree column. However, the pay hike has yet to be finalized, according to deputy superintendent Dred Scott. He said the district surveyed teachers on salary increase options and most seemed to agree with the $200 base increase with added step pay.

--Brandon Dumsky