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Hudson -- A review process of the school district's fine arts programs -- band, orchestra, choir and drama -- was finalized when a memorandum of understanding was approved Aug. 22 by the Hudson Board of Education after being OK'd by the Hudson Education Association.
The review took place during the 2015-16 school year, according to Lisa Hunt, the district's director of human resources.
Hunt said a committee of school officials analyzed data using information from comparable districts along with the school districts that are part of the Suburban League.
"We also reviewed input from current internal supplemental contract holders in terms of the length of rehearsals, the number of events and performances throughout the year, the duration of the standard events and standard event responsibilities," she said. "We believe the recommendation is competitive and comparable with school districts similar to Hudson."
Following the review, the total increase in annual salaries for all the fine arts positions is under $3,000, according to Hunt, who said the recommendations were based on the actual positions, not the persons in the positions.
David Zuro, School Board president, said the development of fine arts skills is "an essential component of our school district's emphasis on educating the whole child."
"The periodic review of supplemental program compensation helps ensure that our district will continue to provide high quality instructional support for our students as they pursue their interests in the fine arts," Zuro said.°"We are pleased with the collaborative effort that took place between the Hudson Education Association and our school administration to make this possible."
David Spohn, president of the Hudson Education Association, said the review of the contracts was agreed upon in the district's 2014 collective bargaining agreement.
"Our goal was to be competitive with comparable districts and internally equitable with similar supplemental contracts," Spohn said.
Spohn added participation in these programs represent "some of the most meaningful and memorable school experiences for students."
"The advisors and directors of these programs put in endless hours along with their hearts and souls to create meaningful experiences for the students," he said. "The music, vocal and performing arts programs in Hudson are among the best in the area."°Hunt said the committee included the treasurer, assistant treasurer, a high school and middle school administrator, and teacher representatives that are familiar with the roles and responsibilities for the fine arts supplemental positions.°
Hunt said since the evaluations had not been done since the 1990s, "we feel like we're getting a lot of bang for our buck."
"We have outstanding, talented and dedicated people in these positions," she said. "We have not strategically analyzed the compensation structure for these positions in 20-plus years. As a district, we were committed to ensuring that we offer a compensation structure that is fair and reflective of the market value of these positions.
"I am proud to say that the people we put into these positions are extremely committed to developing and supporting the talents of our students," Hunt said. "They are dedicated and spend countless hours working with our students and promoting well-rounded young men and women.°As a district, we know that being involved in fine arts often has a positive impact on students academically and can help students grow into productive members of society."