The Cherokee School Board Monday night approved several new contracts for teachers and coaches, and identified the major problem areas to be addressed in the Student Handbook for Washington High, Middle School, and Roosevelt Elementary.
The Board approved a contract for Jim Leonard as a Physical Education instructor at Roosevelt Elementary, junior varsity girls basketball coach, 7th-grade football coach, and assistant varsity boys track and field coach.
The Board approved a contract for Katie (Robinson) Leonard as Special Education instructor at Cherokee Middle School, and as basketball cheerleading sponsor. The Leonards are Cherokee natives and WHS graduates.
The Board approved a contract for Chad Osler as a Physical Education instructor at WHS, freshman football coach, and freshman boys basketball coach. Osler is a Stuart native.
The Board approved a contract for Kim Miller as WHS football and wrestling cheerleading sponsor.
The Board approved a one-year contract for Heath Hagberg as junior varsity assistant girls basketball coach to assist Leonard in the pending absence of girls varsity basketball coach Abby James, who is expecting a child at mid-season.
The Board approved a contract for Jolene Hultgren as WHS varsity cross country coach, replacing veteran coach Deb Hankens.
In other action, the Board approved the resignation of Emily Shuberg as an instructor at the Early Childhood Learning Center. Shuberg has accepted a job with the Northwest Iowa Area Education Agency.
The Board also approved a request for voluntary transfer for Myla Stoneking from 5th and 6th grade Special Education to 6th grade reading strategist. Stoneking has served in her former capacity for 19 years.
The Board also approved the resignation of Leah Dagel as a Special Education teacher's aide. Dagel has worked in that capacity for the past five years.
The Board also approved hiking the substitute teacher pay for the 2009-10 school year from $80 per day, to $90 per day.
Before approving the Student Handbooks for WHS, CMS, and Roosevelt Elementary, the Board heard from WHS Principal Larry Hunecke, CMS Principal Larry Weede, and Roosevelt Principal Barb Radke. Hunecke and Weede identified delinquent lunch payments and cell phone usage as major problem areas to be addressed in the Handbook, while Radke targeted excessive tardies at Roosevelt, along with a growing problem of cell phone issues.
Radke said there were a record 930 tardies in the past school year, with 170 students involved in all of them. "It's not the bus kids, it's the walkers and those who are dropped off (by family)," explained Radke.
In regards to the Handbook, Radke also emphasized that birthday treats brought to the school must now be store-bought due to health concerns.
In further action, the Board approved the dairy bid for the 2009-10 school year with Dean's Foods (Wells Blue Bunny), and the bread bid for 2009-10 with Sara Lee.
Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom advised the Board that Activities Director Neil Phipps has met with a consultant to discuss options on renovating the WHS baseball and softball fields seating areas, and possibly relocating the softball field.
One of the options could be placing the softball field where the seven-year-old CMS track is located, and doing away with the track. That would mean bussing the CMS track and field athletes to and from the WHS track, said Chalstrom.
Phipps is to meet with the Board and share his findings at the July 13th meeting. That meeting has been changed from July 20 to July 13 to accomodate Chalstrom's narrow window for family vacation time.
The Board also was informed by Radke that the Summer Food Program at Roosevelt Elementary is averaging 150 students this summer, compared to 80-90 in past years.
Chalstrom also advised the Board that there was a break-in last weekend at WHS when the perpetrator(s) jimmied the door on the west side of the gymnasium. They entered the concession stand area, but all that appeared to be missing was a large jar of pickles, noted Chalstrom.
Grounds Superintendent Dave Moore told the Board that the flooded parking lot at WHS over the weekend was the result of a plugged culvert when a piece of broken concrete settled in the outlet and sand run-off from the rains combined to plug the outlet. The matter has been remedied, according to Moore.