2007-2008 school calendar is approved
An overture to the Aurelia School District, currently pondering possible sharing agreements with either Cherokee or Alta school districts, approval of the 2007-2008 school calendar, and an informal request by Sergeant Bluff-Luton School Community School District to join the Lakes Conference highighted Monday's Cherokee School Board meeting.
In his Superintendent's report, Cherokee Superintendent John Chalstrom reiterated that the Cherokee District is "open" and "receptive" to any possible sharing with the Aurelia School District.
"Whatever such sharing agreement might be is up to the Aurelia School Board," said Chalstrom. "Any decisions will come from their District. We will be happy to consider any sharing (possibilities) that may come in our direction."
Chalstrom and the Board then agreed to send a letter inviting an Aurelia contingent to tour the Cherokee District facilities.
As approved by the Board monday night, the 2007-2008 school calendar will have the first day of school on Monday, August 20, and the last day Friday, May 23. There will be 180 classroom days, three holidays, and eight staff development weekdays for a total of 191 days.
Students would return for second semester after the Christmas/New Year's holidays on Thursday, January 3, 2008. Spring Break would be Monday through Friday, March 17-21, 2008. Snow dates will be made up at the end of the year.
Sunday, May 18, will be graduation.
Chalstrom also informed the Board of the recent Department of Education (DE) Site Visit.
"I thought we had an excellent site visit. I walked away feeling very good about our District," said Chalstrom. "I was very proud and encouraged."
Chalstrom also lauded the work of site visit organizer Linda Abbott. The DE makes such site visits every five years and then issues a report citing the positives and any negatives involved in the total educational process in Cherokee. The report is anticipated in four to six weeks, according to Abbott.
Because April 15 falls on Sunday this year, the school budget hearing will be held on Monday, April 16, according to Chalstrom. The budget must also be certified that day.
The Board also reviewed a request by the Sergeant Bluff-Luton CSD, a War Eagle Conference member, to join the Lakes Conference. The SB-L District and community has been growing at a fast-pace and many of its athletic programs are now Class 3A, while the rest of the War Eagle Conference schools are smaller, Class 1A.
Chalstrom said he and Cherokee activities director Neil Phipps have few concerns about SB-L joining the Lakes Conference, but logistics might cause far-reaching Lakes schools like Estherville-LC, Emmetsburg, and Spirit Lake to resist due to travel distance.
SB-L is also seeking input from the Siouxland Conference, and has also considered or is considering an alignment with the Sioux City schools.
In a related matter, Chalstrom said Emmetsburg is not planning to leave the Lakes Conference as rumors indicated, and that Orange City Unity Christian has chosen not to join the Lakes, after considering that option in the past.
In other action, the Board approved a contract for Kevin Brandt to replace Phil Seeley as Washington High custodian. Seeley moved to the Cherokee Middle School to replace the recently retired Larry York, creating the WHS vacancy.
The Board also approved a contract for Jared Koch, a 2005-2006 graduate of Washington High, to coach freshman baseball this summer. Koch is in his second year at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City and was an first team all-stater and repeat All-Lakes Conference and All-District pitcher for the Braves, leading them to the state tourney in his senior season. His father, Scott Koch, coaches the varsity Braves baseball team.
The Board also approved an athletic sharing agreement with the Galva-Holstein Community School District for a G-H student/athlete to compete on the Cherokee boys tennis team. G-H has no prep tennis program. The student's parents are responsible for getting him to all the practices and tennis meets.
The Board agreed to provide transportation for a group of Student Council members planning a ski trip to Mankato, Minn. Saturday, March 10. In making the request, the Student Council said the format for selecting members was changed this school year and, instead of members being voted on in their homerooms, it was decided to allow any student with a 2.0 GPA who filed the appropriate paper work by a set deadline to become a member.
That caused the membership to jump from 23 students last year to 44 this year, and because of this, the students feel they have lost the camaraderie associated with smaller groups and such get-togethers as this ski trip may help resolve that.
The sudents will pay for their ski rental, lift ticket and meals, and the Student Council Fund will pay for the bus, bus driver, and chaperones' expenses if they choose to ski.
A request by the Washington High Art Club for a trip to Chicago May 22-26 was also approved, with 10 students and two adults making the trip financed by monies raised by the Art Club. The group will visit the Chicago Art Institute and other educational opportunities. The school will supply two Suburbans for transportation.
The driver's education fees for summer 2007 were also approved at the existing rates of $2-5 for resident, and $230 for non-resident.