MIDDLEPORT — The Royalton Hartland school board recently authorized a new position, dean of students, to help ease the workload of school principals. Athletic Director John Gryzmala was appointed as dean and will retain the athletic director's duties in addition. 

District Superintendent Henry Stopinski said he noticed principals in the district have a lot of different issues to deal with. 

"One of our priorities in Roy-Hart this year is to provide formative supervision of our teachers," he said. "In an effort to provide more time for the principals to work with teachers, we made a decision to pilot a Dean of Students position that would have responsibilities that include student management, parent communications, student safety and student recognition."

The dean of students post is comparable to an assistant principal's post, Stopinski said.

Also this month, the school board approved two educational consultant memorandums of agreement. 

One agreement is with Sarah Battiste, who is to be paid $550 per day for a maximum of three days. Battiste will help district- and building-level teams implement the practice of Professional Learning Communities. 

"The practice engages staff in making important decisions in a collaborative fashion, based on data and best practice. Consensus decision making is key, with the focus on student learning," Stopinski said. 

The other agreement was struck with Dennis Ford, who is to be paid $550 per day for a maximum of 45 days, which amounts to top pay of $24,750. Ford will working on "specific areas of staff development to include developing a common language of instruction, formative assessment of teachers and the development of a teacher mentoring/leader model," Stopinski said. Ford is already working for the district and will continue through June 2019. 

The school board also approved a pay increase for food service workers, in an effort to get ahead of the coming minimum wage increase in New York state, according to Business Administrator Andrew Lang. Hourly pay for cooks will increase to $14 from $12.40 and food service workers' rate will increase to $11.25 from $10.40. 

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