The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School Board approved the first reading of a policy dealing with bullying and harassment at their monthly meeting on October 15th.
The board spent a good deal of time going over the policy and making sure it is hitting the mark when dealing with various situations.
The State of Iowa has recognized bullying and harassment as being detrimental to a child’s education and personal worth by making it illegal to do either, the MMC board wants the staff and students to comply with having a positive environment. The administration will oversee the training of staff and students to recognize what is not acceptable behavior.
There are forms for a complaint to be filled out by the individual who thinks they have been a target of bullying and harassment as well as a form for witnesses to the event to fill out. Staff will be updated periodically on how to recognize such incidents and how to handle it as well as the students of all ages.
Guidance counselors will have a major role in role modeling positive behavior of students. The board is confident that as recognition of the problem is dealt with that in time, there will be less of such situations. There have been seven cases reported at the high school level and four reported at the middle school thus far.
Jodi Mongan, district’s business manager, informed the board of what a procurement card is and how the district will use it. Mongan explained that credit card companies want their monthly payment within seven days after MMC has received it.
That creates a problem as penalties are costly. The procurement card acts like a credit card but the school will have 21 days to make the payment. MMC will set a maximum to be charged each month. The card will mainly be used to pay for road trips of personnel such as gas, lodging and on-line purchases. Mastercard oversees this program. Mongan, Supt. Jan Brandhorst and Becky Sand, school secretary, will oversee the card. It also will provide a savings to the district as many schools go together to save on purchases. The board thought this would be beneficial to the district. The card will have a debt limit to it.
Mongan also went over the budget for the present school year. She based it on last year’s actual spending in the various areas as well as variances in several needs for this year along with projected income. Last year’s budget was showed a deficit of $217,637 which was $80,000 less than originally projected. This year’s budget is projected to show a surplus of $31,255.
Mongan explained that $400,000 from the SILO fund was paid towards the building project under way. She had the district levy for $100,000 less than less year as there was $210,000 carryover in the management fund. The capital project fund is much greater this year due to the bonding done for the building project. The district-wide support levy is greater due to the purchasing of new math books throughout the district. Mongan noted that the instructional books purchased the last two years were much less than what was budgeted for.
The district already had decided to purchase a new bus this year but now, the board learned another bus is in dire need of repair. Supt. Brandhorst was asked to seek bids for repair before the board makes a decision on what is the best route to take.
In other business, the board was presented with an itinerary by music instructor Victoria Conover for the MMC music department trip, which is taken every four years. The group would depart on Tuesday, May 27th early in the morning for Colorado and return on Sunday, June 1. The group will perform twice, once at the Lamont School of Music and be critique and also perform at the Royal Gorge Park. The agenda also includes eating at the Casa Bonita, famous for its food and cliff divers; see ”Mama Mia” at Denver’s Center for Performing Arts; tour the Air Force Academy; Pike’s Peak Cog Train; Attend the Flying W Ranch for a western meal and get a glimpse into the life of cowboys; visit the Olympic Training Center, do some white water rafting and horse riding; visit the Garden of the Gods and Cliff Dwelling Museum.
The board revisited their depository list. Board member Eric Wester noted there are three banks in the communities so all three should be named as depository. A motion was made and passed 6-0.
Brandhorst noted the district is down 29.2 students for the certified enrollment this year and until larger enrollment takes place in kindergarten verses the number of seniors graduating, it will not turn around.
The board learned that the contractor is ready to put on the roof of the building project as well as installed the brick veneer on the north side. Rain is slowing the project but overall, the project is still projected to be on time come next August. The concrete work was done ahead of time.