The Cherokee School Board Monday night approved contracts for seven new Special Education Associates in the District, and heard from Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom regarding the impact on enrollment projections of new students, due to the additional employees currently being hired at Tyson Deli in Cherokee.
Among the new Special Education Associates - many of them involved in a one-on-one setting - were three at Washington High, three at Roosevelt Elementary, and one at the Cherokee Middle School.
The Board approved contracts at WHS for Brenda Harmdiercks, Patricia Engelke, and Mitch Knipple; at Roosevelt Elementary School for Linzi Bierman, Robin Lytle, and Leah Neimeier; and at CMS for Jessica Abbott.
The Board also approved contracts for two part-time food servers - Karen Reusch and Melissa Wilkie, and accepted the resignation of CMS custodian Melinda Rosewall.
Chalstrom told the Board the District was projecting an anticipated enrollment drop of 25-30 students for the 2009-2010 school year, based on graduating seniors and incoming kindergarten students. However, indications are that the impact of the on-going Tyson Deli expansion and hiring boom is that "more new students are showing up."
Chalstrom said the exact enrollment numbers won't be know officially until October 1, but said he was cautiously optimistic that the projected enrollment decline won't be as large as first thought.
Cherokee Principals at the meeting - Larry Hunecke from WHS, Larry Weede from CMS, and Barb Radke from Roosevelt - all reported that they have been registering new students this fall.
Chalstrom also reported that he, Board Chair Laura Dawson, and Hunecke met with representatives of the Aurelia School District last week to continue to discuss possible future high school sharing.
Chalstrom said a major concern of the Aurelia District representatives is preserving Aurelia teachers' jobs in the event of entering into a high school sharing agreement. Chalstrom said the Cherokee District reassured the Aurelia contingent that the District would absorb as many Aurelia teachers as possible and will continue in good faith discussions with Aurelia.
Chalstrom also informed the Board that the District is steadily evolving in the world's newest technological advances regarding communicating with students and parents, and will be in the process of implementing such new communication techniques as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
"It's the world we live in," said Chalstrom. "Students and parents communicate this way now. Even e-mails are becoming extinct. We must implement and embrace the new technology that's out there."
In other action, the Board approved annual appointments for administrators and faculty. They are:
Equity & Affirmative Action Coordinator - Chalstrom; Title IX Coordinator - Chalstrom; Child Abuse Investigators, Level I - Chalstrom, Barb Radke; Level II - Jolleen Hunecke; Harassment Investigators - Chalstrom, Radke; Teacher Quality Team - Chalstrom, Larry Hunecke, Weede, and Radke; Legal Counsel - John Cook, Steve Avery.
The next Board meeting will be September 14.