Board talks tiers |

Board talks tiers

All coaches placed on same salary schedule

— Changes have been made in how coaches are paid in the Steamboat Springs School District.

Most notably, Tier II coaches are now on the same salary schedule as their Tier I colleagues.

In previous years, Tier II coaches could be paid at higher or lower rates because the district does not fund Tier II sports.

Private donations and fundraisers pay for all Tier II sports, including expenses such as uniforms, transportation and coaches’ salaries.

Tier I sports are fully funded by the district.

“I do see where we need to develop some consistency,” Steamboat Springs School Board member Denise Connelly said.

“The community is constantly being hit up for fundraising. If there is someone who is paying their coach double another sport, that is not right.”

The district put together a Collaborative Bargaining Team sub-committee to work on pay schedules for extra duties such as coaching.

The final plan put all coaches on the same salary schedule.

District employees approved the negotiated policy before the start of the school year, district finance director Dale Mellor said.

The policy puts coaches and extracurricular club sponsors on a chart that pays them a range between $300 and $6,500 based on factors such as experience, contact time with students and the level of responsibility.

Most Tier I and Tier II coaches and assistant coaches did not vote on the change because they aren’t district employees, but all coaches received a survey about the salary schedule, said Wendy Hall, a collective bargaining sub-committee member and a coach of the Tier I varsity volleyball team.

“We are trying to equalize the coaching pay scale,” Hall said.

“Our main thinking was we didn’t want to pit sports against each other, including coaches’ salaries. : We did get a lot of feedback from coaches. I think we felt really good about the research we did and the decisions we made.

“Obviously, it is the first time we are running through this thing, and we could make adjustments if we need to.”

At Monday night’s study session, board member Pat Gleason, a volunteer ski coach with the high school’s Nordic team, spoke up about the topic of Tier II coaches being grouped together with Tier I coaches, despite the difference in funding levels from the district.

“You should be able to pay the coach whatever you want if you are raising the money,” Gleason said.

The School Board was not involved in the pay plan, but board members said they are interested in the topic of Tier I and Tier II sports.

In addition to coaches’ salaries, board members discussed the possibility of all sports being absorbed by the district.

High school Principal Mike Knezevich was asked to determine how much it would cost the district to support every middle- and high-school sport and activity.

“The district doesn’t know if they can take it on,” Knezevich said.

“The Education Fund Board doesn’t know if it can take it on. Talking about an endowment was how this conversation started.

“We talked with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and possibly joining with them,” he said.

Board members also expressed an interest in a policy stating why certain sports were Tier I and why others were not and whether there were criteria in place to allow a sport to become Tier I or vice versa.

“I don’t have a problem with the categorizing,” board member John DeVincentis said.

“It’s a matter of how they go back and forth and when do you decide that this Tier I will be a Tier I and vice versa.”

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