An all-school reunion in is expected to bring a good number of alumni to Aurelia according to All-School Reunion Committee members Nancy Webb and Paula Weathers who reported to the Aurelia School Board on Monday evening.
Final preparations are being made by the committee for the events of July 15 and 16. They are anticipating an attendance of as many as 500 at the Dancing Tractors program Friday evening on the school playground, and have received 65- 70 entries for the parade (Sat. at 2 p.m.)
Parade Grand Marshals will be former Aurelia Superintendent of Schools Carlos Bryan and his wife, former Aurelia elementary teacher Helen.
On Saturday afternoon, following the performances by the alumni band and choir, there will be a short program in which the continuing accomplishments of Aurelia students in the fields of academics, sports, music, speech and the DECA program will be presented. They also showed a sample of the official T-shirt, designed by Aaron Ware.
These T-shirts are on sale for $10 at the Heritage Bank, and will also be available at the Open House in the school gym on Saturday.
In school board business, Superintendent Tom Vint presented the financial report, which showed that current assets are up $140,000 from last year. Transportation costs are down, due primarily to the reduction in the number of bus routes.
The insurance premium has been increased by 15.5 percent, due primarily to an increase in property value and an increase in workman's compensation costs.
Vint also reported that all of the school's "Adequate Yearly Progress" goals have been met, which is important because this is the determining factor in the state identifying "schools in need of assistance." Grades 4, 8, and 11 were tested and reading and math proficiency scores were all in the 75 - 93 percent range, considerably above the state average.
Vint also announced that he had been contacted by Chesterman Co. on June 23, and they will be providing a new scoreboard for the football field. He assured the superintendent that the new board would be installed and ready to go before the annual "soap scrimmage" in late August. This is welcome news for all fans, players and coaches who have endured several incidents of scoreboard malfunctioning over the last couple of seasons.
A summer project update was given, and the following projects have been completed: weatherproofing the 1920 building, asphalt roofing for the 1920 building, construction of the baseball/softball concession stand, installation of the electric stage bleachers, and padding of the scorer's table in the gym (for safety reasons).
Projects which are in progress include: remodeling of four restrooms, carpeting the elementary classrooms, new lockers for the lockerrooms, a new fire alarm, and the expansion of the football concession stand. This prohect was put on hold until after the all-school reunion this weekend.
In new business, the middle school and high school handbooks were approved by the board, but it was noted by Principal Dave Hickman that some minor updating of the high school book needed to occur before it could be printed.
The contract of Mike Fry as high school wrestling coach was approved. Fry replaces Matt Van Oort, who resigned last month to take another head coaching positiion.
The following annual appointments were approved: Vicki Kolpin as board secretary/treasurer/business manager, Jim Hanks of the Ahlers Law Firm as district legal counsel, Vint as level I child abuse investigator, the Cherokee County sheriff as level II child abuse investigator, First Trust and Savings Bank and Heritage Bank as district depositories, and the Aurelia Star as district newspaper of record.
There will be minor changes in the free and reduced lunch forms and the process for qualifying students for this program. The Board approved the district's continuing participation in this program.
The following fees will be raised, based on rising costs and comparison with several area schools' fees : student breakfast, student lunch, and adult lunch will be raised 10 cents per meal; adult lunch will be raised 25 cents. There will be no change in the fee for book rental for any grade, K- 12.
The board also approved raising the pay rate for substitute teachers from $75 to $80 per day.
The district mileage rate will continue at 29 cents per mile.
Anderson-Erickson Dairy and Wonder Bakery were both approved to continue providing milk and bread, respectively.
A first reading of Series 200 of Board Policies took place, with Vint pointing out differences from current policy, which were few. A second reading will take place at the August meeting.
District priorities for the Iowa Association of School Boards legislative platform, which will be submitted to the IASB by Aug. 11, include rising health care costs; K-12 school funding issues (the board hopes for a continued 4 percent allowable growth rate); punitive measures of the No Child Left Behind program (which seem unfair to schools); the erosion of tax revenues in the state; the budget guarantee (which they would like to see restored), and more funding for professional development.
Board members Kirk Nelson and Keith Glienke will join Vint at an informal meeting with members of the Alta District Board at 6:30 p.m. this Wednesday (July 13). Possible shared programs and cost saving measures between the two districts will be the focus of the discussion.
The board also informally discussed several types of air conditioning possibilities for the high school building, and agreed that the superintendent would contact an air conditioning specialist for a consultation and possible recommendations.