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Benton Harbor area schools ushering in new changes

BENTON HARBOR, Mich – Benton Harbor Area Schools begins ushering in new changes.  

At Tuesday’s monthly CEO meeting motions to bring in Retention pay, merit pay, and to approve a new student code of conduct was passed.  

Benton Harbor Area Schools new CEO Dr. Robert Herrera says the new student code of conduct will not just focus on punishing students but helping them become productive and successful students after an infraction. 

“As you take a look at the code of conduct the old one focuses on discipline and the second one focuses equally as much on how we are going to help provide supports so the students don’t make the same mistake again,” Herrera said. 

Retention pay was the next issue addressed. 

Retention pay is an incentive to keep teachers in the district, which has been a struggle in the past. 

“Retention pay is to help offset the variance or the discrepancy between the number of years served in the district and where our teachers fall on the salary structure,” Herrera said.  

Herrera and the state of Michigan worked out a $384,000 retention pay package to be split between the districts teachers which will reward teachers based on their time with the school district. 

The retention pay is essentially a bonus to keep teachers in the school district. 

Merit pay will be made to teachers that meet individual goals, student success goals, while tying work and attendance record as qualifying points to receive merit pay.

With the retention and merit pay measures passed the payments will begin in the near future.

The newly approved student code of conduct will begin being phased in throughout the remainder of the school year.  

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