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Sunday May 24th, 2015 9:33PM

Gainesville BOE discusses employee insurance options

By Ken Stanford Reporter
GAINESVILLE - The Gainesville City School System is preparing for the upcoming benefits enrollment for employees and the changes that are a result of the Affordable Health Care Act.

The city school board heard a report on the these plans Monday night.

Supt. Merrianne Dyer said Tuesday David Hatter and Travis Riker from Arista Consulting have been working with district staff to inform employees of the options available for them. The State Health Benefit Plan will offer one choice: Blue Cross-Blue Shield in a tiered plan. This plan is designed to reflect the options that will be presented in the marketplace plans.

Staff members and principals will have training with Arista on Tuesday, October 14, to prepare them for informing their employees. Classified staff who may have more affordable health care in the marketplace or with Medicaid will be personally contacted and will receive a kit to inform them of their options.

A financial incentive will be offered to classified employees who are able to enroll on their spouses plan, are 26 and under and can enroll on their parent's plan, or can enroll in Medicaid, which will enable these employees to have a more affordable option while also saving costs to the school district, according to Dr. Dyer. Arista will operate a call center for employees, produce a video to explain the changes, and continue training the superintendent, human resources, and financail staff as the AHCA is implemented.

ALSO MONDAY NIGHT...

The Gainesville Athletic Club proposed to the Board of Education the construction of a Cross Country Trail to be funded by the Athletic Club and volunteers. GAC President Abb Hayes and volunteer supporter Mickey Long presented the plans to the Board for approval. The Board gave the go-ahead for the group to proceed with the trail.

Also, the Board asked district and school staff to begin study of the International Baccalaureate Program for the middle and high school programs. The IB Program for Primary Years is in place at Fair Street elementary, and the Board would like to study the possibility of implementing a Middle Years Program (schoolwide for grades 6-10) and Diploma or Certificate Program (for students electing IB in grades 11-12). Board member Delores Diaz indicated that the chamber of commerce saw IB programs as a viable economic tool for attracting business.

Southern Management, the cleanring company under contract to GCSS, had a performance review with the Board. The review indicated improvement in the service since beginning in July. The Board asked for monthly progress reports.
A few weeks ago the Board had some questions for a company official about job performance after hearing complaints from officials at some of the city schools. (See link below.)
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