During the regular session of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School Board meeting held Monday, Sept. 19 members received principals' reports, the superintendent's report and board reports prior to adjourning to the organizational portion of the meeting.
* High School
Bill Sillau, high school principal, discussed the new seating arrangements at the volleyball games. The goal is to get all of the MMC crowd seated in one area. It took some time to coordinate at the prior game but staff will continue to work on a reasonable solution.
Sillau also reported that some parents have requested the hiring of a freshman volleyball coach to aid the current coach in practice sessions.
According to Sillau the jersey auction held for homecoming raised around $1400. Part of the proceeds will be put towards a scholarship awarded in the spring with remaining balance to the booster club.
He also noted that he discovered that many of the jerseys were in poor condition and suggested that they be replaced.
Elementary Principal Kathy Tritz-Rhodes reported that 92 percent of students attended the open house held on Aug. 24. Students were able to drop off their school supplies, talk to the teacher, and tour the buildings.
Fifth grade students recently participated in the area farm tour sponsored by the Cherokee County Extension Service on Sept. 13. The students were able to visit four area farms as well as Sand Seed. A session on farm safety was added this year that interested the students.
Tritz-Rhodes, and four teachers attended the first Northwest Iowa Reading Council meeting also on Sept. 13. They were able to visit displays and listen to a storyteller from Sioux City, who encourage participants to use storytelling in the classroom to help make curriculum come alive.
During the first in service for staff on Sept. 19 teachers shared an outline of one their first units to begin the process of mapping the curriculum. Tritz-Rhodes reported the process as a big learning curve for the teachers.
Jan Brandhorst, superintendent publicly thanked Bryan Petersen for his six years of service to the school board. He also thanked voters for passing the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy.
After adjourning the regular meeting the board opened the organizational portion of the meeting. Newly elected board member, Karla Prunty, took the Oath of Office. Rachel Holmes was re-elected as president and Eric Wester elected as vice president. Becky Sand will continue as secretary and Jody Mongan will also continue as treasurer. Board members decided to keep meeting times and places the same, every third Monday, 7 p.m. in the high school library. The MMC School Board now consists of Eric Wester, Jeff Gross, Karla Prunty, Vernon Letsche, Rachel Holmes, Jerry Moser, and Loren Mohning.
When the meeting turned to the new business portion of the meeting they selected Tom Whorley as the school district's attorney. The Marcus News is the newspaper of record the district. Farmers State Bank and First Trust and Savings will continue as the district depository with an increase in the limits to $4 million in light of the recent levy passing.
Bill Sillau and Joanne Petersen, RN will continue as the Level I Child Abuse Investigators with the Marcus Police Department and Department of Human Resources acting as Level II investigators.
Discussion of technology needs in the middle school took place. The approval of $19,000 from the 2003-04 school year was approved for use to purchase computers and equipment for classrooms and teachers. More will be approved at a later date when more funding from Rural Education Activities Program (REAP) becomes available.
Contract adjustments were approved for Debra Young, half-time special education employee. After getting students into a routine it was found that Young was needed later in the day than originally thought. He contract was increased one tenth from 0.5 to 0.6. An hourly rate increase was approved for the special education bus route driven by Ron Hidisch. He will now receive $12 per hour ($24 per trip). Contract pay adjustments for teachers moving over one lane from their current educational background lane were approved for those who have completed the educational requirements to move over. A contract for Jody Theisen to coach middle school volleyball was approved for $1049.85.