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Aurelia Board approves participation in new conference

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

AURELIA - The boards of control for the Twin Lakes and Northwest conferences have been discussing a possible merger for several months, and recently voted to proceed with the merger.

School boards at the member schools were asked to take action indicating their school's intention to participate in the newly-formed conference, and the Aurelia Board, meeting in its regular monthly meeting Monday, approved participation in the newly-formed conference. At this time, the conference has not been given a name, and final details will be need to be worked out during the school year of 2010-2011, with actual conference competition to begin in the fall of 2011.

At this time, a proposal to have an east and west division is being considered by the boards of control.

In other business, the Board approved extending a contract to Jennifer Wittmack to serve as co-head golf coach (both boys and girls) with LeAnn Patton, who had already been extended a contract as the girls' coach. Wittmack, who will be teaching in the Aurelia district this fall, has previous experience as a golf coach, and the Board will leave it up to the two coaches to decide how they want to divide coaching duties.

Principal Ann Sandine reported on the "Hands and Words Are Not for Hurting" Project,which will be implemented in the elementary and middle schools, starting at the Back to School Night program the evening prior to the start of classes. The program is considered to be an effective tool and a key piece in the puzzle of abuse and violence prevention education, and the plan is to have some of the high school students help with various projects within the program as well. Students in the program take a pledge that they will not use their hands or words for hurting themselves or others, then trace their hand on purple paper on which the pledge is written, sign their name and age, and these pledges will be displayed in a prominent place as a reminder to the students of their commitment.

Sandine also reported that the school's website is being updated, and will be more "user-friendly." She also said that the school's new playground equipment, consisting of a deck, typhoon slide, swing set and enclosures, had been chosen, and will be in the colors of blue, green and yellow, to match the existing equipment. The rubber mulch in this area of the playground will be green. The equipment was purchased from Boland Recreation at a cost of $50,000.

Superintendent Lynn Evans introduced the Board to the "Every Student Counts" program, which is a statewide math initiative, which should help improve middle school math students' math scores. Every Student Counts is a way of teaching, and Ann Sandine attended training recently. The three components of E.S.C. are Technique for Understanding, Problem-Based Instruction (which focuses on using math in every day situations) and Meaningful Distribution and Practice. This method of teaching is fully in-line with the upcoming "Core curriculum" program which will be implemented statewide, and other subject areas will be using the same methods of teaching.

In other business, the Board approved participating in the Iowa Schools Joint Investment Trust (ISJIT), a "banking system" run by the IASB which tracks a district's use of ARRA (Federal stimulus) funds. Participating in this program will also permit the district to have access to the "Pay Schools" program, which, when set up, would allow parents to pay for fees and lunch accounts online, using debit/credit cards.

The following annual appointments were made and approved by the Board: Vicki Kolpin as Board Secretary/Treasurer/Business Manager; Jim Hanks of Ahlers Law Firm as Legal Counsel; Superintendent Evans as Level I Investigator; Cherokee County Sheriff as Level II Investigator; Heritage and First Trust and Savings Banks as District Depositories; and the Aurelia Star as the District Newspaper of Record.

Student fees for books, milk, lunch and breakfast were approved, and all remain at the same rate as last year .

The Board also approved raising the pay for substitute teachers $5/day, bringing the rate to $100/day. The mileage rate of $.039/mile was approved (same rate as last year). Dean's Foods was the only bidder on the milk contract, and their bid was approved. The only bidder for the bread contract was Interstate Bakery (Wonder Bread), and this, too, was approved.

A bid from P & S Construction of Cleghorn for labor on the playground project was approved. Superintendent Evans has requested that this work be done by August 7.

No decision was made regarding an invitation to area schools from the Alta District's Building Trades program for students to participate in the construction of a home. The invitation may possibly be reconsidered at next month's Board meeting.

Superintendent Evans also presented the Board with a breakdown of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds, and how they will affect the schools. Basically, the only funds which will be a bonus for schools will be the IDEA funds, which the Aurelia District plans to use for having a summer school program, purchasing SMART boards and other expanded technology, leveled books in the library, and hiring an associate to work in middle school math and other assigned areas.

Evans said that the District's summer projects are coming along fine. The roof project has been completed, and the computer server will be undergoing routine maintenance by Rick's Computers. The walk-in freezer unexpectedly broke down and a new compressor had to be purchased, but this was done quickly, and no food was lost.

The Board approved a bid from Screen Builders for the replacement of 14 windows in the gym, coaches' office, stage and music rooms, and discussed the timetable for proceeding with sharing talks.

The Board requested that Larry Siegel, a longtime IASB financial employee who now serves as an independent consultant, be asked to serve as a moderator at a public meeting. Evans will contact him to see what his schedule is. The hope is that he will meet with the Board for a work session soon, and then moderate a public meeting in late August.

Aurelia Board approves participation in new conference

By Dan Whitney

Staff Writer

AURELIA - The boards of control for the Twin Lakes and Northwest conferences have been discussing a possible merger for several months, and recently voted to proceed with the merger.

School boards at the member schools were asked to take action indicating their school's intention to participate in the newly-formed conference, and the Aurelia Board, meeting in its regular monthly meeting Monday, approved participation in the newly-formed conference. At this time, the conference has not been given a name, and final details will be need to be worked out during the school year of 2010-2011, with actual conference competition to begin in the fall of 2011.

At this time, a proposal to have an east and west division is being considered by the boards of control.

In other business, the Board approved extending a contract to Jennifer Wittmack to serve as co-head golf coach (both boys and girls) with LeAnn Patton, who had already been extended a contract as the girls' coach. Wittmack, who will be teaching in the Aurelia district this fall, has previous experience as a golf coach, and the Board will leave it up to the two coaches to decide how they want to divide coaching duties.

Principal Ann Sandine reported on the "Hands and Words Are Not for Hurting" Project,which will be implemented in the elementary and middle schools, starting at the Back to School Night program the evening prior to the start of classes. The program is considered to be an effective tool and a key piece in the puzzle of abuse and violence prevention education, and the plan is to have some of the high school students help with various projects within the program as well. Students in the program take a pledge that they will not use their hands or words for hurting themselves or others, then trace their hand on purple paper on which the pledge is written, sign their name and age, and these pledges will be displayed in a prominent place as a reminder to the students of their commitment.

Sandine also reported that the school's website is being updated, and will be more "user-friendly." She also said that the school's new playground equipment, consisting of a deck, typhoon slide, swing set and enclosures, had been chosen, and will be in the colors of blue, green and yellow, to match the existing equipment. The rubber mulch in this area of the playground will be green. The equipment was purchased from Boland Recreation at a cost of $50,000.

Superintendent Lynn Evans introduced the Board to the "Every Student Counts" program, which is a statewide math initiative, which should help improve middle school math students' math scores. Every Student Counts is a way of teaching, and Ann Sandine attended training recently. The three components of E.S.C. are Technique for Understanding, Problem-Based Instruction (which focuses on using math in every day situations) and Meaningful Distribution and Practice. This method of teaching is fully in-line with the upcoming "Core curriculum" program which will be implemented statewide, and other subject areas will be using the same methods of teaching.

In other business, the Board approved participating in the Iowa Schools Joint Investment Trust (ISJIT), a "banking system" run by the IASB which tracks a district's use of ARRA (Federal stimulus) funds. Participating in this program will also permit the district to have access to the "Pay Schools" program, which, when set up, would allow parents to pay for fees and lunch accounts online, using debit/credit cards.

The following annual appointments were made and approved by the Board: Vicki Kolpin as Board Secretary/Treasurer/Business Manager; Jim Hanks of Ahlers Law Firm as Legal Counsel; Superintendent Evans as Level I Investigator; Cherokee County Sheriff as Level II Investigator; Heritage and First Trust and Savings Banks as District Depositories; and the Aurelia Star as the District Newspaper of Record.

Student fees for books, milk, lunch and breakfast were approved, and all remain at the same rate as last year .

The Board also approved raising the pay for substitute teachers $5/day, bringing the rate to $100/day. The mileage rate of $.039/mile was approved (same rate as last year). Dean's Foods was the only bidder on the milk contract, and their bid was approved. The only bidder for the bread contract was Interstate Bakery (Wonder Bread), and this, too, was approved.

A bid from P & S Construction of Cleghorn for labor on the playground project was approved. Superintendent Evans has requested that this work be done by August 7.

No decision was made regarding an invitation to area schools from the Alta District's Building Trades program for students to participate in the construction of a home. The invitation may possibly be reconsidered at next month's Board meeting.

Superintendent Evans also presented the Board with a breakdown of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds, and how they will affect the schools. Basically, the only funds which will be a bonus for schools will be the IDEA funds, which the Aurelia District plans to use for having a summer school program, purchasing SMART boards and other expanded technology, leveled books in the library, and hiring an associate to work in middle school math and other assigned areas.

Evans said that the District's summer projects are coming along fine. The roof project has been completed, and the computer server will be undergoing routine maintenance by Rick's Computers. The walk-in freezer unexpectedly broke down and a new compressor had to be purchased, but this was done quickly, and no food was lost.

The Board approved a bid from Screen Builders for the replacement of 14 windows in the gym, coaches' office, stage and music rooms, and discussed the timetable for proceeding with sharing talks.

The Board requested that Larry Siegel, a longtime IASB financial employee who now serves as an independent consultant, be asked to serve as a moderator at a public meeting. Evans will contact him to see what his schedule is. The hope is that he will meet with the Board for a work session soon, and then moderate a public meeting in late August.



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