Meeting in their regular monthly meeting Monday, the Aurelia School Board listened to a detailed explanation about recommended equipment purchases for the new Wellness Center from Wellness Center Committee Board representative Jim Hultgren and Coach Grant Peckenschneider, who was representing Coach Myron Radke.
The board approved the purchase of weight-lifting and cardio equipment totaling approximately $42,000, with the understanding that the Aurelia Booster Club plans to donate $10,000, and that that amount, along with $600 remaining from a CABA fund which needs to be closed, will be used to pay Letsche's Bike Shop for the recommended Cardio equipment. The remaining money for equipment will be taken from either the PPEL funds or SILO funds.
Architect Paul Mauer, who was also present at the meeting, stated that things were going well on the construction of the Wellness Center. He said that general contractor Grundman-Hicks said that though they are about two weeks behind schedule, they feel they should be able to meet the mid-August deadline for completion of the project.
Mauer suggested they might want to choose a paint color, such as the school colors, to brighten up the otherwise off-white decor of the Center, and he will take care of this.
Hultgren reported the recommendations of the Wellness Center Committee, whose members include Hultgren, community members Bruce Rapp, Carla Sokol, Brad Rohwer and Mary Schulenberg, Superintendent Vint, and school athletic department representative Myron Radke. The committee was in agreement with the equipment recommended by the coaches, but felt there should be more cardiovascular -related equipment, in addition to weight-lifting equipment especially some which was "user-friendly" for beginning users. The committee will meet again on July 17, and will continue to work on details such as the hours of use, administration of the center, rules and regulations, and membership fees. Each committee member will be looking at similar facilities in neighboring communities to see how they are being run.
In other business, the Board accepted the resignation of Girls' Golf coach John Lockin, who was recently elected to the Iowa High School Golf Coaches' Hall of Fame, with grateful appreciation for his 24 years of coaching. His assistant, LeAn Patton, is also resigning, but, since she has always been a volunteer, no Board action was required. The Board does appreciate her years of volunteer coaching also. Later in the meeting, the Board approved the hiring of current Boys Coach Tom Bohnenkamp to take over coaching duties with the Girls Team also. It should work well, as most meets are run as coed meets. If there are any conflcts, the Board felt that a school staff member or perhaps a parent could transport the team to the meet.
In another personnel matter, the Board addressed the hiring of a part-time librarian. This was mandated by House File 2792 last year, but schools were allowed a one-year waiver. Vint has spoken with state officials, and they recommended hiring someone on a part-time basis, saying that would meet the mandated rule. The Board approved hiring Betty Resch, a former librarian with the Cherokee Schools, for two days a week, at $100/day, to oversee the High School library and the IMC.
The Board approved several rates and fees for the coming school year. Included were student fees, including book rent, and breakfast and lunch rates. The cost of both student and adult breakfast and lunch were raised five cents. The following rates for the 2007-08 school year were approved - student breakfast, $0.70; student lunch, $1.40; adult breakfast, $1.05; adult lunch, $1.95; the K-6 and 7-12 book rent will remain at $45. The substitute teacher pay rate will be increased to $90/day from the current $85/day. The School District's mileage rate will be raised to the state-recommended $0.34/mile from the current $0.29/mile.
The 2007-08 milk bid from Anderson-Erickson, the low bidder, was accepted, so the District will continue to purchase dairy products from that company. The Board also approved Wonder Bakery, the only bidder, for bread products in 2007-08.
Superintendent Tom Vint reported that all of the District's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Goals were met in 2006-07, which is especially important, because that is the determining factor for the State Dept. of Education as they decide which Districts are "schools in need of assistance" (SINA).
Vint also presented the final financial report for this summer's Driver Education program, whose number of students (12) was down twenty from last summer's class. Vint expects next year's class to have around 20 participants.
The Board approved the District's continuing participation in the free and reduced lunch program, an annual formality, as are the approval of several appointments. As recommended by Vint, the Board approved Vicki Kolpin as the Board Secretary/Treasurer and Business Secretary; Jim Hanks as District legal counsel; Vint as Level I Child Abuse Investigator; the Cherokee County Sheriff as Level II Child Abuse Investigator; Heritage Bank and First Trust and Savings Bank as District Depositories; and the Aurelia Star as District Newspaper of Record.
High School Principal Dave Hickman presented a report on a meeting he attended on safety measures in schools, and commented on one school that had begun a successful program of having a "walkie-talkie" in each classroom this year as a means of improving staff communication. Hickman also commented on a recommendation that schools have regular "lock down" drills, just as they do fire and tornado drills. He and Vint also presented the 2007-08 Middle School and High School handbooks for Board approval. There were few revisions, and the Board approved the handbooks.
The next scheduled Board meeting will be Monday Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m.