NewsMay 25 2016

Lyman Grads proclaim their accomplishment

Posted by Lucy

Fifteen Lyman seniors gather together one last time in the hallway of the high school prior to commencement exercises last Saturday, May 21 at the gym in Presho. More photos and story are published inside this weeks Lyman County Herald on page 9.

NewsMay 25 2016

Teachers receive raise

Posted by Lucy

An agreement between the Lyman School board of eduction negotiation committee and members of the Lyman Education Association was reached at the end of last week that sets the new base pay for first year teachers at Lyman at $37,400 per year, up $1,824 from the previous base, or  5.1 percent increase.
According to Superintendent Lynn Vlasman the committees agreed to keep the salary schedule that utilizes steps and lane changes that has been employed at Lyman.
The amount of raises for certified teachers at Lyman will vary depending on where they are on the salary schedule but Vlasman stated it would be in the 4.5 to 4.9 percent  range for all teachers.
With the change in base, each Lyman teacher will receive a raise of at least $1,824 per year, and those with higher degrees of education and years of experience will receive more.
The salary increases for the 2016-17 school year will range from  $1,824 up to $2,63.
Last year, Lyman’s average teacher salary was $43,201.  With the increase the average for the 2016-17 school year moves to $45,943, which does not include other contributions to insurance, withholding and retirement.
“The district’s average would be below the Governor’s target of $48,500 but Lyman does have 15 teachers that will be above that target,” said Vlasman. 
Vlasman reported other changes to the contract included the provision for severance pay for certified teachers will be phased out over the next five years due to the abolition of the pension levy as part of the funding legislation approved earlier this year.
The new law mergers the pension levy into the general education levy. In the past school districts could assess up to 0.3 mills for a pension levy.
Currently districts maintain a separate pension fund that they will have five years to distribute severance pay to the 15 Lyman teachers vested in the program.
Going forward the general ed levy was increased 0.233, which the state believes will will raise the same amount of money the pension levy did, making it revenue neutral to property taxpayers.
“This change had an significant affect on the school district,” said Vlasman.  “At Lyman, it  will generate less than what we would have seen before.”
Merging the pension levy with the general ed levy allows the funds to be counted toward the total need for the school district when applying the new state funding formula.
The cost of health insurance will increase approximately $28 per single premium or 4.7 percent for the next school year. The school district will cover the raise in single premium but anyone on the family rate will see an increase of 4.7 percent.
Another change agreed upon is the educational stipend teachers are eligible for. Each year $7,500 is set aside to encourage teachers to take classes to further their education. The amount of $7,500 will be divided into thirds, and $2,500 will be available each summer, spring and fall semester based
“Glad we could get to an agreement on it,” said Superintendent Vlasman. “We’ll be sending out amended salary contracts to staff.”
Certified  staff members have until June 1st to accept the salary package, and return it to the business manager.   Any teacher breaking a signed contract after June 1st could be liable for liquidated damages.
“Hopefully that won’t happen,” said Vlasman. “We’ll have everyone back and get rolling in August.”
Extra duty pay will be computed off the new base salary.
Earlier the school board approved a 4.5 percent raise to all classified employees and a flat $2,500 per year to the superintendent, principals, business manager and guidance counselor.

NewsMay 18 2016

Prairie Futures program guides nontraditional students to nursing degree

Posted by Lucy

Recent nursing grads with the Prairie Futures program including, l-r: (in red gowns, Carolyn Werning, Colome; Shelli Collins, Kennebec; and Heather Twamley, Reliance.  MHCH executive director Corey Kilgore (far left) and MHCH Board of Director Christine Hamilton attended the USD pinning ceremony held May 5, 2016 in Pierre. To read more about the Prairie Futures program, pick up this weeks Lyman County Herald.

NewsMay 18 2016

Highway Patrol to Conduct “Move Over” Campaign Friday

Posted by Lucy

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers Friday will focus on encouraging motorists to move over.
The Patrol is conducting a statewide “Move Over” campaign from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time Friday. The campaign is designed to educate motorists about the state’s Move over Law. The law requires drivers to:
*** Move over to the lane farthest away when approaching any vehicle on the shoulder of four lane highways or interstates that is using amber or yellow warning lights;
*** Slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when approaching any vehicle on the shoulder of two lane roads or highways that is using amber or yellow warning lights;
*** Stop when approaching from any direction an emergency vehicle that is displaying red visual signals. Unless directed otherwise, proceed with caution only after making certain it is safe to do so. 
This week is Law Enforcement Memorial Week. One of the five troopers killed in the Patrol’s history was Steve Hoffman, who was killed in 1980 when he was struck by a truck while making a traffic stop on a highway near Freeman.  
Local law enforcement agencies also will be invited to participate in the enforcement project. Col. Price says troopers will enforce the law.
This is the first time the Highway Patrol has conducted a statewide “Move Over” campaign.
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