Challis school board members have approved an increase from half-time to three-quarters time for the two Stanley School teachers.

The move is expected to give students more individual instruction time and allow the teachers to be at the school at the same time for part of the day for the rest of the academic year.

Challis School trustees approved Superintendent Lani Rembelski’s recommendation for an increase in pay, time and benefits for Lisa Muscavage and Ashley Baker Reece at their Nov. 7 board meeting. Increasing each teacher from half- to three-quarters time will cost the district another $22,479.

Currently the teachers rotate schedules, with one teaching in the morning and the other in the afternoon. With nine Stanley students at seven different grade levels, finding adequate individual teaching time can be frustrating, Rembelski said. The students range from kindergarten to seventh grade. The expanded hour schedule means students will get more one-on-one time and the two teachers together can cover more subject matter.

The increased salary and benefits were not included in the current budget, Rembelski said, but the district has enough money to cover the cost. Rental income from the Forest Service for a fire camp this summer brought in an extra $19,000, she said. And, a change in the Bureau of Land Management’s lease of the middle school building will bring in about $54,000 more per year beginning this year, she said.

Is there any chance of the school district getting more funding from the state, Trustee Jim Chamberlain wondered? Several trustees laughed. The district might get more funding for full-time equivalent positions, Business Manager Shawna Getty said. It’s possible Challis district could get an extra 5 percent in revenue from the state, board Chairman Brett Plummer said, if a current funding proposal passes the Idaho Legislature.

The salary and benefits increase is temporary, said Rembelski, but Stanley students will be tested to see if the extra time helps them improve academically. She’s confident it will and would then recommend keeping both teachers at three-quarters time.

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