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'Senior Portfolio' showcased at Aurelia Board meeting

Monday, May 18, 2009

AURELIA - The "Showcase on Education" at the monthly meeting of the Aurelia School Board on Monday May 11 spotlighted the "Senior Portfolio," which has been a requirement for Aurelia High School students for the last several years.

The showcase was presented by Guidance Counselor Barb Huseman, who shared a sample of a Senior Portfolio with Board members. Aurelia students actually begin compiling their portfolio in the 8th grade, when they take the Internet-based "Choices" Interest Profile, which helps the students to start reflecting on their strong points and seeing some possible career choices which might be a good "fit" for the student. Student Portfolios are a graduation requirement for all Aurelia students, and the portfolio requirements include a professional quality cover letter; a letter of introduction; a resume; at least two recommendations; a transcript; an ACT or other standardized test scores; at least one extracurricular or community activity, including a reflection of their experience in that activity; one writing sample from an English class; and at least one other classwork sample of the student's choice.

Job Shadowing experience is not required for the Portfolio, but is strongly recommended. Students are given samples of the different letters and forms which are required for the Portfolio, and also given a timeline of what should be done each school year.

In other business, the Board received two resignations. Tom Bohnenkamp resigned his positions as both the boys and girls golf coach, and these were approved by the Board. The standard "pending the finding of a suitable replacement" clause does not apply in this case because Bohnenkamp has not been working under a teacher's contract. Two more resignations which were received were those of Aaron Ware as Yearbook Sponsor and Prom Sponsor. These resignations were tentatively approved, pending a review of his contract conditions and finding a suitable replacement.

The Board also approved contract offers to Ryan Meyer, for 5 - 12 Band Instructor/Director; Jennifer Keitges, for High School Language Arts instructor; Will Dibel, for Science and for assistant high school boys' basketball coach; and LeAnn Patton, for girls' golf.

Superintendent Lynn Evans presented the District's Financial Report, with the comment that the District was "in very good shape compared to last year," and commended the Board for the work they have done to bring that situation about.

In other business, John and Brian Lockin of Maple Valley Mutual Insurance, were present to review the District's insurance coverage through the Employers' Mutual Company. They reported that the premium rates will remain the same next year. The possibility of offering a rider to the policy, at a flat fee of $100 to organizations which use school facilities for activities - which would cover the individual people involved in the activities (the school's policy would cover the organization itself) - was discussed, and the Board approved the policy renewal and also approved offering the rider, which is already in place for the After-Prom Committee, to all organizations not already covered. Purchase of the rider coverage will not be mandated by the Board, it will be up to each group to accept or decline the offer.

In other business, Evans presented the Audit report for Fiscal Year 2008, and this was accepted and approved by the Board following discussion. Evans was also given Board approval to pursue hiring two part-time workers this summer at minimum wage salary to assist the custodians by moving furniture out of classrooms, cleaning the furniture, then moving the furniture back after the custodians have cleaned the rooms, including the floors. Evans is hoping to hire high school or college students to do this work.

The Board discussed several items which did not require any voting action. Included among these were the annual review of the Good Conduct Policy (503.4); the status of the lease for the District's copy and Duplex machines; "Phase II" of the school playground project; the most recent meeting of the School Improvement Advisory Committee; and the impact of the government's "Stimulus Package" on the District. Evans said that the Aurelia District is planning on using these funds to fund summer school programs and do some technological upgrades, and is also looking into an Accelerated Math program, expanding the Accelerated Reader program, and utilizing some additional Teacher Associate time.

Evans informed the Board that Les Douma, former Local District and AEA Administrator, has agreed to facilitate a Board work session. The Board tentatively set a time for this meeting - May 27 at 1 p.m., and Evans will see if this time will work for Douma.

The meeting concluded with a discussion of summer projects and a tour of the facility.

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting will be Monday June 8 at 7:30 p.m.



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