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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

MMC adds more special education aides

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rachel Holmes was recognized for her many years of service to the MMC School District Monday evening. The Board honored her, saying that her service on the Board is appreciated, as she has willingly volunteered to help others. Loren Mohning, left, and Holmes have both declined to run for another term. Superintendent Jan Brandhorst, right, noted that Holmes will be missed. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
MARCUS - A group of elementary parents came to Monday's Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School Board meeting to make sure the Board was well aware of their concerns about the number of students in the fifth grade class. This class has always been divided into two sections until this fall when the Board voted to reduce the fifth grade to one section, and let the extra teacher be moved down to add a second section for the second grade.

Jackie Johnson was the spokesperson for the group, and she rapidly read several questions for the Board to explress their unhappiness with the situation. When she concluded, the Board went on to the consent items on the agenda and did not address the group's issues.

The Board members stated that they have been working hard to make appropriate cuts to keep the budget in line. By moving a teacher to another class, they said, it saved paying another teacher's salary. The administration wanted to see younger students (second grade) have two teachers, so they have a a good start.

The Board had agreed to hire three more special education paraprofessionals, but when contracts for approval were presented to the Board Monday, they were asked to approve contracts for four aides rather than the three proposed at the last meeting. When the motion was presented to hire four, it passed on a 5 to 1 vote, with Brian Mugge being the lone "no" vote. Board member Jeff Gross noted to the Board that with the hiring of this many aides, they basically just hired another teacher. No savings resulted from their action. Board member Karla Prunty was unable to be at the meeting.

The parents said they would begin the year this way, but if they note their children are not doing well with this arrangement, they would want to open enroll their children out of the District.

Contracts approved Monday night included Diane Ruden, Rachel Martin, Dawn Roberts and Judy Gravenish as special education paraprofessionals, which brings the number of aides to help with special education students to seven.

The Board was pleased to hear and agreed to sharing a librarian with Remsen-Union. Stacie Galles will come over to Marcus a half day each week, with MMC paying her mileage and 10 percent of her wages. Also, the Board agreed to share bowling as a sport, with David Moore being the coach for both girls and boys. The teams will use the Remsen bowling alley this year, and perhaps rotate years with the Marcus Bowl. Moore will be paid 7 1/2 percent of his salary rank for coaching.

Superintendent Jan Brandhorst recommended to leave subsititute pay at $90/day, as there has been no difficulty in getting people to step into the classrooms.

The Board also approved replacing the east and west gym doors, as the old ones leak a great deal of cold air. The cost of the updating will be $15,386. The board is also looking to replace the light fixtures in the gym at a cost of $11,173, which will save greatly on the utility bill . The savings will cover the cost in a few years.

Brandhorst shared information on the bus inspections. Number 3 bus needs to be replaced, as it is 15 years old and has 276,000 miles. He also plans on looking into fixing bus number five and the blue van, both of which have considerable rust on them. Brandhorst explained that with the buses sitting out in the weather all of the time, it is hard on windows. The change of temperatures makes for condensation and eventually, it is difficult to see out of the windows.

Sealed bids were opened, and the following items were sold to: Bob Hoefling, scoreboards for $101; Joe Mohning, press box for $125; and to Bruce Schoer, some metal lockers for $45.

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