4.5-percent package increase approved
The Cherokee School District Board of Education ratified the Master Working Agreement with the Cherokee Education Association for the 2008-09 school year at the regular board meeting March 24 at Washington High School.
The contract contains a 4.5-percent package increase for the CEA, a figure right on the state average, according to Superintendent John Chalstrom.
In other action, the board established 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, as the date and time for the budget hearing and any public input for the proposed budget for fiscal year 2008-09. The board will conduct a meeting following that to approve and certify the budget.
The proposed budget establishes a levy of $14.63 per $1,000, which is down from last year's $15.45 per $1,000 levy.
Chalstrom said that historically, the district levy rates have been much higher, reaching $16 or $17 at times. The fact the district is not levying for debt service contributed to the lower numbers and has brought property tax relief of nearly $2 per $1,000 from prior years. "We will probably be below the state average," said a pleased Chalstrom.
The board also acted on several coaching and teaching resignations.
The board accepted the resignation of Tony Napierala as WHS Social Science teacher, varsity football coach, and varsity girls track coach. Napierala has accepted a head varsity football coach and Physical Education position at Muscatine High School.
The board accepted the resignation of Jeremy Dettmer as WHS and Cherokee Middle School Social Science Instructor.
The board accepted the recommendation of Chalstrom to not renew the varsity boys basketball coach contract of Trent Coombs.
The board accepted the resignation of Stacy Bezoni as CMS Special Education Instructor. Chalstrom said Bezoni has been with the district for 19 years and has accepted the position as Special Education Consultant with Prairie Lakes AEA, Area 8, and will work out of the Storm Lake office.
The board accepted the resignation of Sharri Baldner as CMS Special Education Associate. Baldner is retiring.
The board also approved a contract for Jason Wood as WHS assistant girls tennis coach. He will assist varsity girls tennis coach Jan Tracy.
At the request of Chalstrom, the board will convene at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, to tour the district facilities, including athletic facilities, to better gauge the facilities' immediate and future needs. Chalstrom will develop an itinerary that will help the board and administration look long-term into the district's facilities and the required measures to be taken to sustain them in peak condition.
Emily Shuberg, representing the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC), presented the board with drawings for the proposed new playground facility. The estimated $80,000 project would be funded with existing grant monies, and possible PPEL (Physical Plant Equipment Levy) funds and from private contributions. There is approximately $52,000 in grant monies now available, according to Roosevelt School Elementary Principal Barb Radke.
Chalstrom pointed out that because the project exceeds $25,000, it would have to be let out for bids. He also concluded that the proposed plan will now be fine-tuned and the financing solidified so his recommendations can be ready for the board for the April 7 budget hearing.
The board also approved a request by 4th-grade teacher Vicki Freed to take the Roosevelt 4th graders to the Washington Pavilion Science Museum in Sioux Falls, S.D. for a field trip on Thursday, April 3. The trip will be paid for by Foundation funds and recent Roosevelt School fund-raisers.
The board entered into closed session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining strategies and issues with Local 234 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, representing district support staff, including cooks and custodians.