The Aurelia School Board discussed recommendations from the Transportation Committee at its monthly meeting Monday evening, but did not approve any vehicle purchases.
One of the Aurelia "route" buses needs to be replaced, and Superintendent Tom Vint presented submitted bids at the meeting, but the Board tabled the item until the December meeting to allow Vint to ask some more questions and hopefully come up with a vehicle that better meets the needs of the school.
The committee also recommended replacing the school's pickup truck, which is a 1983 model and in need of replacement by a newer vehicle. This item was also tabled until the December meeting to allow more investigation of available replacements.
The Board did approve the purchase of a few additional pieces of equipment for the fitness center, including a second elliptical machine, as the current one gets a lot of use and patrons often have to wait to use it. Vint will complete an application to receive funding from the Iowa Foundation for this project, rather than using general funds. Vint reported that the Fitness Center has been very popular, and the school has sold 80 memberships so far.
In other business, the Board approved the resignation of Tim Ireland as head volleyball coach. Ireland resigned the position last year, but came back when the school was unable to find a suitable replacement.
The Board approved the resolution to continue participation in the Instructional Support Levy for five years. Approval was also given to continue participation in the IDAPT drug-testing program, at a total cost of $365.
The school calendar for the 2008-09 school year was approved. Registration will be on Aug. 5; faculty in-service from Aug. 14-18; the second annual "Meet Your Teacher Night" on Aug. 18 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m, and the first day of school will be Tuesday Aug. 19, with a 2:30 dismissal on that day. Christmas holiday and winter vacation will be from Dec. 22-Jan. 4. April 10-13 will be Spring Vacation, and the final day of classes will be May 21. Graduation will be on Sunday May 17.
The Board approved the changes in the 600 series of policies ("Educational Program") upon their second reading.
The Board also set the afternoon of Dec. 10 as their annual visit to school classrooms, beginning with lunch at the school lunchroom. The monthly Board meeting is scheduled on that date, and the Board decided that the meeting will be held in the afternoon, rather than the usual 7:30 p.m. start determined time. Several Board members will be attending all or part of the annual IASB Convention in Des Moines on Thursday and Friday.
High School Principal Dave Hickman reported that some of the senior class members attended some school - to - work sessions while the freshmen, sophomores and juniors were taking ITEDs.
The seniors discussed filling out applications and doing job interviews, and Marlin Jeffers from the AEA presented a workshop on the Colors Personality Test. Hickman also reported that there was quite a decline from previous years in parent attendance at this fall's conferences, as only about 56% of families were represented, compared to nearly 80% in previous years. One speculation is that a number of families were involved doing fieldwork. Hickman also noted, though, that 86 families have requested a password so they can keep up with their children's work on a daily basis through the JMC program on the school's website. The program has received many positive comments from families, and 45 high school students have also requested passwords. Hickman also reported that the school will be hosting the Aurelia Commercial Club coffee on Wednesday (Nov. 14), as part of American Education week. Renae Hinkeldey and Jodi Husman have been named to All-State music honor groups, and will be at the festival activities from Thursday - Saturday this week in Ames. Hickman also announced that the Fall Athletics Award Banquet has been rescheduled from November 29 to Monday December 3, and that the Winter Concert will be held on December 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Elementary Administrator Ann Sandine reported that attendance at the elementary level was "nearly perfect" at conferences held on Oct. 29 and Nov. 1. The Elementary Music Pogram will be this Thursday at 7 p.m. Elementary music classes take turns providing programs for Sunset Knoll residents on a monthly basis, and on Nov. 20, the 3rd Grade class will be going to Sunset Knoll. The 3rd Grade went to Sunset Knoll on Nov. 13 also, for the "Grandparents' Program," where students visit with residents. Sandine also said the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills are nearly completed, with the exception of a few make-up tests. The tests were spread out over six days.
Sandine also reported that the newly-formed PTA group mmets the fourth Monday of each month, and that National Honor Society students provide free babysitting for parents who attend the meetings. PTA members also offered babysitting for parents during the fall conferences, and Sandine said several parents took advantage of that service. The PTA served a hot dog supper at the Back To School night, and proceeds from the free will offering is being used for the "Coats for Kids" program.
Superintendent Tom Vint reported that the school conducted a "lockdown" drill on October 26, and that both the students and staff did a good job during the drill.
The communication problem previously discussed seems to have resolved with the use of walkie-talkies. The staff still expressed concerns about the North entrance to the high school and the South entrance to the 1920 building, though, and Vint has asked Head Custodian Chuck Lindgren to order new doors for the High School entrance which will be able to be locked during the day. The South doors to the 1920 building will also be re-keyed so entrance can only be gained with a master key the elementary teachers possess. Vint also alerted the Board to a potential deficit of $42,021 in Fiscal Year 2010 due to an anticipated loss of 40 graduating students that year, with only 18 students projected to enroll in kindergarten. Beginning in FY 2012, though, the District will see increases in the regular program cost if enrollment levels out at about 255 students, which is the current projection.
Vint also noted the SILO funds projection for this year is $163,938, and the PPEL is scheduled to generate $118,324. SILO and PPEL funds usable only on capital improvement projects.
The Superintendent said that the District has applied to the School Budget Review Committee in Des Moines for $46,152 in "allowable growth," to make up for the nine open-enrolled students who were not on the estimated count last year and who have open-enrolled out for this (2007-2008) school year. Vint said the final enrollment count for the District for the 2007-2008 school year shows 23 students open-enrolled out of the District and 19.6 open enrolled in, He also noted that, for the first time since open enrollment began in 1988, the Aurelia District has more students coming in from the Cherokee District (11) than going out to Cherokee (10).
Vint also reported that Nepple Electric from Alta has installed lights over the two entrances to the fitness center at a cost of $1400, and that he was notified that the trial date for the case involving the 2005 after-prom death has been set for October 14, 2008.
Head custodian Chuck Lindgren showed the Board the school's new boiler system in action, and answered the questions Board members had. Lindgren stated that this system is much more efficient than the previous system.