The Brookings-Harbor School Board last week unanimously approved employment extensions and renewals for union and non-union employees.

The one-year renewal of contracts for probationary and post-probationary teachers is an annual item associated with various state statutes and contract requirements and is based on performance.

There are no raises associated with the contracts.

The board approved the renewal of contracts for union employees without much discussion.

However, when it came time to grant or renew multi-year contracts for non-union staff such as principals, department supervisors and district office personnel, Board member Larry Anderson asked the Superintendent if doing so was financially prudent.

In years past, contracts for administrative positions are normally renewed on an annual basis. Some non-union positions such as maintenance, transportation and cafeteria supervisor have never had a contract.

Why the change in direction? Why are we going to three-year contracts in light of the financial situation, Anderson asked.

He also asked about the evaluation process that determined whether an employees contract should be renewed.

Superintendent Paul Prevenas said no raises are attached to renewing or extending contracts, so it wont affect the districts current and pending budget shortfalls.

Prevenas said giving non-union employees a three-year contract instead of a one-year contract or none at all would help improve moral.

This will reward their loyalty and hard work, he said. It gives them something similar to what other employees in the district get, many of whom have worked less time.

Anderson asked if the district would have to honor the contracts should it have to layoff people because of financial difficulties.

Prevenas said no. Giving an employee a three-year contract extension or renewal doesnt guarantee the position for the life of the contract.

He said the district can layoff an employee for reasons other than job performance, such as budget restraints, without any consequences.

However, he said, should that happen There will be some unemployment costs for the district.

As for evaluating employees, Prevenas said he is responsible for evaluating the principals, the special education director, the business manager, the departments supervisors and district office staff.

Each principal is responsible for evaluating the assistant principal and teaching staff at the school, he said.

Prevenas asked principals Chris McKay, Mike Dillenburg and Floyd Strandberg to explain to the board how they evaluate assistant principals and teachers.

The evaluations included regular one-on-one meetings and classroom observations. Each principal felt good about the teachers they recommended for renewed contracts.

Board member Bill Ferry asked if the principals had received their reviews yet.

McKay and Strandberg said yes. Dillenburg, who became principal of Azalea Middle School last year, said he was scheduled to have one this month or next.