AURELIA - With the 2000-2009 school year set to begin for teachers on August 14, the Aurelia School Board met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday August 11th, to put together some of the final pieces of the puzzle regarding staffing.
The Board received an update from President Dan Winterhof on the ongong search for a superintendent of schools, and learned that the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn school district has verbally agreed to share their Superintendent of Schools, Lynn Evans, with the Aurelia District. The sharing agreement will involve financial incentives for both districts, and was made possible when the HMS District decided to pursue hiring an additional administrative assistant for their district.
The Aurelia Board will be holding a special meeting on August 19th to finalize the details of the contract with Superintendent Evans.
He has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn School District since 2003, and was nominated by his peers last year for the Iowa Superintendent of the Year award.
In other personnel matters, the Board approved the resignation of Chuck Lindgren, as Head Custodian, with a heartelt thank you for his 20 years of service to the district. The Board also approved the resignation of Marv Munden as the Junior High football coach, and approved hiring Grant Peckenschneider to fill that position. They also approved contracts for Shelley Ballantyne as drill team leader and Patricia Engelke as cross country coach. Munden and Aaron Ware served as the co-coaches for cross country last year.
In old business, the Board took action on the issue of roof repair on the 1920 building, an issue they had tabled at last month's meeting, pending further information. The Board heard from Lindgren regarding the roofing company's answers to Board questions and after reviewing the three proposals from R.L. Craft Company of Denison, unanimously voted to accept Craft's proposal to apply a new modified Bitumen roof system, with a 10-year manufacturer's warranty, at a cost of $24,156. The work will need to be done this fall, but the Baord will arrange a date with Craft, since the back parking lot will likely need to be closed off while they work, and thus the work should not be done during a week when the football team has a home game.
The Board also discussed the purchase of a Voice Mail system from NU-Telecom, but tabled the issue until some additional information could be obtained.
The Board also reviewed a proposal from Athletic Director Grant Peckenschneider to have Holton Signs of Cherokee design and put up a sign attached to the bottom of the
scoreboard on the football field. The sign, painted in the school colors of blue, green and silver and sporting a Bulldog logo, would state that Valor Field is the home of the Bulldogs and include a listing of the years in which the Bulldog football team was a Conference or District champion, and the years they were in the state playoffs, as well as how they finished.
Peckenschneider thought such a sign would emphasize the proud Bulldog heritage and the Board agreed, approving the purchase of the sign, to be completed and hung in time for the season opening game on August 29.
Principal Ann Sandine told the Board that the tentative estimate for 2008-2009 enrollment showed a total in-building enrollment of 275 students for grades TK -12, a decrease of 14 students from last year.
The estimated TK-4 enrollment is 111, an increase of four students over last year; Middle School (5-8) estimated enrollment is 76, a decrease of two from last year; and the estimated High School (9-12) enrollment is 88, a decrease of 16 from last year. There are also three students, all from one family, who have filed papers for home schooling this year. The school district had received .6 weighted enrollment funds from the state for these students, but the weighting has been dropped to .3 this year.
Sandine also reported that teachers return to school on August 14, and two days of in-service training will kick off at 8 a.m. with coffee, juice and rolls, followed by a welcome for the staff.
New staff members this year include Angie Kruger, LeAnn Patton, Sara Walter, and Todd Walter, and several staff members also have new teaching assignments this year. Lunch will be served for the group at the Aurelia Golf Course from 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
On Friday, the staff will have two sessions of in-service training on School Climate and Bullying, presented by Jill Helm from the AEA.
The second annual "Meet Your Teacher Night" will occur on Monday, August 18, beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a mandatory Good Conduct meeting for all high school students and parents at 7:30 p.m. School starts for students on Tuesday August 19, with an early dismissal (2:30 p.m.) that first day.
Friday August 22 will bring the annual "kickoff for fall sports," with a football scrimmage beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by a volleyball scrimmage at 7:30 p.m.
Sandine also reported that the district successfully met all the 2007-2008 goals (AYP) they submitted to the state, based on data from the ITBS and ITED scores for grades 3-8 and 11. She also reported that the Aurelia district again has several students taking classes through the League of Schools, but also noted that WITCC is only offering one section of Auto I this year, because they have only one instructor now. WITCC had to cut one instructor because of MMC's choosing to no longer participate in the League of Schools.
Sandine told the Board that new state requirements for students this year include lead testing for kindergarten students and dental screening for both kindergartners and ninth graders.
Board President Dan Winterhof presented an update on the summer 2008 projects. The air conditioning has been installed in the band and choir rooms, and will be run as needed, as each room has a separate thermostat. The gym floor has been refinished; installation of the new flooring in the lunch room is being done now, and will be done before school starts. The new covers have been installed on the bleachers in the gym; and a magnetic lock has been installed on the north door of the Fitness Center.
Installation of additional security cameras in the Fitness Center will be done in mid-August; and installation of new lighting in the gym and lunch room will be done (on nights and weekends) during the week of August 18.
In other business, the school has received the billing from EMC Insurance for the district's property/liability insurance policy, and the $37,994 is a decrease of 11 % from last year. The Management Fund is used for payment of this premium.
In other business,the Board approved the appointment of Paul Pingel as the Board's representative on the IASB Legislative Action Network; approved the Title I allocation of $26.570 from the federal government for the 2008-2009 school year; and approved joining the State of Iowa - sponsored 403(b) plan, which will enable school employees the option to take a tax-sheltered annuity.
Board president Dan Winterhof has filed for the September 9 School Board election, as has first-time candidate Brad Rohwer. Board member Susan Corderman will not be seeking re-election to the board, and the Board thanked her for her dedicated service to the Board. The September meeting will be her last one.