FDCSD sees slight enrollment increase
School board approves early retirement incentive
The Fort Dodge Community School District has seen a slight increase in enrollment during the 2020-2021 school year, Superintendent Jesse Ulrich told the school board on Monday night.
Between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2020, the district has seen an increase of five students, for a total of 3,673 students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade.
“This is not the norm across the state of Iowa,” Ulrich told the school board. “In fact, there are only two schools in the entire (Urban Education Network of Iowa) who are reporting stable or increased enrollment — everyone else is reporting drastic decreases in students.”
Ulrich credited the district’s board of education, leadership and teachers for the increase in enrollment.
“It is a reflection of the confidence that our community has within our system,” he said.
The school board also approved an incentive offering for district employees who are eligible for early retirement during the 2020-2021 school year.
The early retirement incentive includes a $1,000 early notification bonus and accumulated sick day compensation. The accumulated sick day compensation is calculated as 50% of the employee’s per diem pay times the number of unused sick leave days (up to 150) times 250%.
“The early retirement incentive is paid for out of our management fund and the savings are felt within our general fund,” Ulrich explained.
This year, if every eligible district employee took the incentive package for early retirement, the total package would cost about $1.6 million, Ulrich said.
“Traditionally, only about 40% of our staff take an early retirement incentive package,” he said.
Employees who wish to take early retirement must be at least 55 years old on or before June 30, 2021; have a minimum of 10 consecutive years of work with the district on or before June 30, 2021; and are retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Eligible district employees have until Dec. 11 to submit an early retirement application to the district’s human resources office.