AURELIA - The Aurelia School Board met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday and much of the discussion concerned talks which have gone on between the administrations and Athletic Directors of the Aurelia and Alta Districts.
Aurelia AD Grant Peckenschneider and Principal Ann Sandine mentioned several issues and proposals which have been discussed, but no final decisions have been made at this time. The two boards will meet in Aurelia at 5:30 p.m. today for an ICN presentation. Representatives from the Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto Districts, which have had a successful sharing program for 16 years, will be presenting a one-hour talk concerning their experiences, and the Alta and Aurelia boards will have a general discussion following the presentation to discuss the next steps in the Aurelia-Alta sharing. Included in those discussions will be the proposals which have been suggested for such items as time lines, mascots, school colors, etc.
Tonight's meeting is open to the public, though seating is limited due to the size of the ICN room.
The official deadline to notify the state of sharing plans is April 1, 2010.
In other business, the Board discussed making a declarative ruling on the District's reaction to the state's 10 % across-the-board cut. No action was taken at this time, and the matter was tabled until the January meeting, to allow more time to consider options and share them with staff for their input.
Principal Ann Sandine reported that interactive whiteboards have been installed in three of the elementary classrooms on the second floor and that custodian Roger Dreier is in the process of installing the rest of the boards. Students have had a very positive reaction to the addition, and the District will be conducting some professional development sessions in the second semester to help teachers effectively implement the use of the technology in their classrooms. After Monday's meeting, Board members took a look at the equipment which has been installed.
Sandine also reported on the 2nd grade students' organizing a can drive to benefit Mid-Sioux Opportunity. The students collected a total of 140 cans and delivered them to Mid-Sioux on Monday. The project was also incorporated into a math/science lesson for the students by breaking the items into different food groups and making a graph.
The 2nd grade students were also excited because they have heard more from people who have possession of the teddy bear which the class sent on an excursion at the beginning of the school year. The bear has traveled from Aurelia to Mount Pleasant, boarded the Amtrak to Colorado, visited Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Yosemite National Park and is now in the country of Denmark. The class has been kept informed of the bear's whereabouts through postcards and e-mails.
Sandine also reported hat the 7th and 8th grade students are completing a service project called "Soles for Souls," in which they collect used shoes which are donated to those in need.
High School semester tests will be administered from Dec. 18-22, and classes will be dismissed at 2:30 p.m. on the 22nd, marking the end of the first semester and the start of Christmas vacation. Classes will resume on January 4, 2010.
In other business, the Board discussed the sale of some old treadmills in the Fitness Center. The treadmills are thought to be okay for home use, which is what they were designed for. They have just not been able to handle the demanding use they receive at the Fitness Center, and have been replaced by professional models. The Board voted to place an advertisement for the treadmills in the paper, offering them to the highest bidder "as is."
High School science teacher Will Dibel was present to request an out-of-state travel exemption for a group of five or six students to attend the NASA Space Program in March 2010. Aurelia students have participated in and benefited from this program for several years now. Schools pay a $500/student entry fee and the additional $310/student costs are handled through fund raisers and student out-of-pocket costs. Students travel to Sioux City, then take a chartered bus to and from Houston, Texas for the program. The Board approved Dibel's request.
Superintendent Lynn Evans reported that the District has purchased two slightly-used copy machines for $6,000, with the purchase money coming from the PPEL fund. A service agreement was also purchased, using General Fund money.
In accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 21.5(1)(a), the Board moved to go into closed session to discuss a matter of student discipline and take action on that matter.
The next regular Board meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on January 11, 2010.