The Shawnee Mission school board on Monday approved a memorandum of understanding that will pay middle and high school teachers an added $5,200 more per year if they are asked to take on an extra sixth period.
Concerns about secondary teachers’ workload played a central role in contentious teacher contract negotiations in 2020 and have been a hot topic of discussion in the district for years.
Following the drawn-out contract negotiations two years ago, the district ultimately agreed to cut secondary teachers’ class load back to five out of seven periods.
But the most recent teacher contract approved this summer triggered a subcommittee to develop a compensation agreement for teachers who school administrators determine need take on a sixth period.
Michael Schumacher, associate superintendent of human resources, led that subcommittee, and told the board on Monday that the number of teachers who end up teaching six periods should be rare.
“We want everyone to be teaching five out of seven (periods), but those of us that have been in that system (know) there are random needs for someone to teach six,” Schumacher said. “We did have a great conversation and looked at what other districts are doing as far as that compensation and tried to do something that was commensurate with the work and was the appropriate number.”
National Education Association Shawnee Mission did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story. NEA-SM President Linda Sieck was part of the subcommittee with Schumacher, school administrators and teachers.
Starting next school year, teachers with six periods will be paid an additional 10% of the amount listed under the district’s master plus 15, step three cell on the 2022-2023 school year salary schedule, or roughly $5,200 a year, Schumacher said.
If a teacher takes on a sixth period for one semester, they will receive roughly $2,600 in supplemental salary under the current schedule, he said.
These numbers are not locked in, so if the salary schedule should increase, the supplemental amount paid to teachers with six periods will, too, Schumacher added.
Schumacher said if a school’s administration identifies the need for an additional section of a subject — for instance, if another section of Spanish 1 is needed in order to accommodate all the students signed up for it — then the administration can ask an individual teacher to take on a sixth period.
If the teacher agrees to that sixth period, then the supplemental compensation kicks in, he said.
According to the MOU, a teacher who voluntarily requests to take on a sixth period would not be eligible for the extra pay.
Superintendent Michelle Hubbard told the board the agreement is coming a bit early ahead of next school year but that i needed to be approved in order to help administrators start planning school schedules for next year.
The board of education unanimously approved the memorandum of understanding.
Read the entire MOU approved by the school board: