Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Getting 'Reward' Money

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools Getting 'Reward' Money

Article excerpt

Officials at five "A" schools in Mandarin and northwest St. Johns County are deciding how to spend thousands of dollars in reward money received from the state.

The "A" schools are Loretto, Beauclerc, Cunningham Creek and Julington Creek elementary schools and Switzerland Point Middle School. Each received $100 per student for high marks as part of the 1999 Recognition Award program through the Florida Department of Education.

Schools can spend the money on employee bonuses or equipment for the school or both, according to state guidelines.

Some schools are further along than others in the decision-making process. However, officials at all five schools said they are leaning toward giving bonuses and putting some money back into the school.

Each school's advisory council and faculty must sign off on the decision. Decisions will be finalized this month and next.

At Loretto, school officials have already agreed on using less than half their reward money to provide bonuses for teachers, staff, cafeteria workers and custodians. Ranging from $225 to $750, bonuses will be awarded on a sliding scale, said Principal Caroline Rademacher, who didn't want anyone left out.

Rademacher said she hopes to distribute bonuses before Christmas break.

"It's important we all have an incentive to do good," she said.

With Loretto's remaining funds, $5,000 has been set aside for teacher training. Also, teachers will get $100 each to spend on classroom needs.

School officials also want to buy items for classrooms, including:

A microscope that projects images on a television screen.

Sixty books per classroom.

Fifteen dictionaries for each fifth-grade class.

Magazines, pamphlets and other materials for the guidance office.

Art supplies.

Beauclerc Elementary School's advisory council will vote Tuesday on a proposed spending plan that includes $1,000 bonuses for teachers, $250 for teacher aides and clerks, and $100 for custodians and cafeteria workers, said Principal Monty Trammell. …

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