The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School Board members are pleased that Northwest Iowa Community College is seeking a site in Marcus for an alternative high school program. Presently, there is a waiting list for students to be accepted into Sheldon as well as Le Mars.
MMC will be vacating a building on Main Street that could easily be fixed up to house an alternative school bringing money to the district as well as making use of a building that could end up being empty and turn into an eyesore.
The board wants to get estimates of what it would take to convert the building's use including air conditioning and a handicap restroom. Alternative schools are usually situated away from a high school campus. The program will provide all regular courses to get a high school diploma without some of the electives such as phys ed and music.
Some students just want to complete the required courses and move on. Area districts are interested in the program up in Marcus. NICC would hire the instructor and provide money for start-up costs. NICC and MMC would like to see the program begin this coming fall.
MMC board members also thrilled with the prospect of instituting a new program referred to as "Project Lead the Way" which in essence is pre-engineering courses focusing on math and science. Dr. Victor Dreier, a member of the MMC faculty, will take a two-week course this summer to lead the classes which will be taken in thee industrial technology department. NICC is also going to partner with MMC to set the program up which will be a big plus for the district. There are so many more employers looking for engineering students.
The board hired Samantha Corbin of Le Mars to teach special education in the middle school at Cleghorn, where she will have 16 students. She earned her degree in May 2004 and comes with teaching experience. She will start immediately to help alleviate the instructional load.
Supt. Jan Brandhorst shared an update on the gym floor. He said, "The floor is out of intensive care and is better but not 100 percent. We have to let the insurance company go through the process to come to a conclusion that most would like to see. We are keeping track of all the bills that have resulted from the the floor being flooded, whether it's taking kids to other sites to play games or the result of extra expenditures resulting from the mess. All of these will be reimbursed to the district."
"The floor has dried down to where it should be. Now it has to have time to see where the boards will settle. I know many people want a new floor put down but the decision is out of the board's hands until appropriate remedial measures have been taken by the insurance company. Meanwhile, the district has to exercise patience and going the extra mile to make things work out. I am grateful for the efforts of Bill Sillau, Steve Liddle, Len Dreckman, Les Pedersen, Don Kreber, Jeff Schmillen, Derek Lewis and a couple of the guys from Wiltgen Construction."
An update of the building project was given. All concrete has been poured, Masonary work is coming right along; sprinkling system will begin to be installed next week; by late January the metal studs will be put in place and hard ceiling will be completed. The mechanical room is half done and work is proceeding on the kitchen. Electrical work is going forth. There will be a transfer of power on Jan. 22.
In other business: the board approved the calendar for next school year; approved early graduation for two students, Lindy Pdersen and Wes Reuter.
Steve Utesch, representing the MMC teacher's union, made the initial proposal to the district which asked for $675 added to the base for advancement and an addditional step for those who have maxed out the increments by adding a longevity step. They are also asking for whatever insurance increase there is plus dental insurance. The board will meet early next month in closed session to decide what their counter proposal will be.