AURELIA - The Aurelia School Board approved salary and benefit packages for the 2009-2010 school year at their meeting Monday evening. Under the terms of the agreement, certified staff members will receive a 3.72% increase this year, and classified staff and Administrators will receive a 3.64% increase. The current salary for a starting teacher is $25,876.
In other business, Superintendent Lynn Evans reported mechanical problems with Bus # 5, which has been out-of-service for two extended periods of time this year. Board members expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the bus, and that will be taken into consideration before the next bus purchase.
The Board approved a committee to develop a Special Education Plan for the district. The committee will consist of Administrators Evans and Ann Sandine; Special Education instructors Deena Jones and Diane Kannegieter; regular education instructors Shanda Reilly and Linda Peine; parents Ruth Pearson and Pam Wilson; and AEA representative Don Tisthammer.
The Board also approved Evans' recommendation to accept a $20,000 Fire Safety Grant, and authorized him to seek out bids for the project, which includes the installation of distinctive alarms for fires and tornadoes.
The Board also approved his recommendation to continue participation in the Iowa Educational Consortium Food Service, with Martin Brothers as the vendor. The consortium provides good quality and good service, and will save the district a significant amount, according to Evans.
Evans presented a proclamation, declaring the first full week of May as National Teacher Week and May 5 as National Teacher Day, honoring teachers for their outstanding service and influence on all of our lives. The proclamation ends with the hope that everyone take the time to recognize and acknowledge the impact of teachers on our lives.
The Board approved a contract with Myron Radke and Grant Peckenschneder.to provide mowing services for the school grounds, at an $8.30 hourly rate.
The Board approved Evans' recommendation to continue the District's participation in the Cherokee League of Schools (through WITCC) for the 2009-2010 school year. Many Aurelia High School students through the years have taken advantage of this program, which allows students to get a head start on their post-secondary education and receive both high school and college credit.
The Board had a general discussion about their March workshop and everyone felt it was a good session, and gave the Board a good start on future planning. The next step is a meeting to gather input fro the community, and the Board inquired about the possibility of getting a facilitator to help them plan and outline such a meeting. The Board authorized Evans to talk to people who he thought might do a good job in that role, and see if they would be interested in providing that service to the district. If a facilitator is secured, the Board would probably have a special session to meet with the facilitator and plan the community meeting.
Though the school year is coming to a close soon, Evans indicated that there is no reason a public meeting can't be held in the summer, even though school is not in session for students at that time. Evans said he would make some contacts and report back to the Board.
It was noted that the next meeting of the School Improvement Advisory Committee will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. Board members Rohwer, Pingel and Entriken plan to attend.
The meeting concluded with a discussion about the possibility of attaching a rider which would provide coverage to groups which use school facilities, such as the Little League and the Youth wrestling and basketball programs, to the district's insurance policy. A similar rider is now in for the After-Prom Committee. The matter will be researched further and discussed with the organizations involved, and will be an action item on the agenda at the May Board meeting, which will be held on Monday May 11, at 7:30 p.m.