The Aurelia School District Board of Education discussed the proposed Budget for the 2010-2011 school year at their regular monthly meeting Monday night and set a date for a public hearing on the proposed budget. Total revenues for the District are $3.532 million; total resources $4.764 million, and the proposed tax rate (per $1,000 taxable valuation) is 11.473.
The public hearing will be at 6:15 p.m. on Monday April 12 in Room 111 at the school. At the hearing, any resident or taxpayer may present objections to, or arguments in favor of, any part of the proposed budget, A copy of budget details may be requested from the school secretary and will be furnished upon request.
In other business, Principal Ann Sandine and Counselor Barb Huseman presented a slide show about the school's recent "Read Across America" Day. The program emphasized the importance of reading, using an Olympic theme, and a highlight was the interaction between the high school and elementary students. Both levels enjoyed the interaction and Sandine said there may be an increase in the high school-elementary interaction in the future.
Sandine said she is in the process of completing the application for the state's Voluntary Preschool Grant, pending Board approval. She also said that Will Dible will be taking six junior and senior students to the NASA Competition in Houston on Thursday. They will return on Monday. The school had a successful Kindergarten Round-Up on March 5, with seventeen students attending. Projected class size for the fall are 9 students in Kindergarten and 7 in TK, including one open-enrolled student.
Huseman also presented the ITBS/ITED Simple Cohort Results from last fall and they showed that the students in the grade levels tested were making satisfactory progress in increasing their proficiency in all areas. Superintendent Evans said that the Accelerated Math program will be expanding, and he felt that should lead to even better proficiency in that area.
The Board approved the Budget Guarantee Resolution, a local property tax which allows schools to recapture revenue and spending authority lost due to declining enrollments. It is set at 30% for FY 10. The Board also approved continuing the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) at the current rate of $.33, approved the Management Levy, a local property tax used for property/casualty insurance, early retirement benefits and some legal fees, at a rate not to exceed $1.29, and keeping the Instructional Support Levy Income Surtax Rate at 9% for 2010.
The Board discussed the 2005 Suburban, which has presented numerous problems since its purchase. The vehicle now has 78,000 miles and would cost $1888 to repair. A new vehicle would cost $40,000. The Board voted to repair the 2005 vehicle and use it sparingly. The repair cost would come out of the General Fund. The Board felt a better option might be to replace the 1996 Suburban within the next year and replace it with a new vehicle. It was felt that with the upcoming sharing program, the District would have need of dependable smaller vehicles for student transportation.
Several students from the Senior Class were present, along with Class Sponsor Will Dible, to present their proposed itinerary for a Senior trip this spring and request some financial help from the District, as has been the custom. Nineteen students and two chaperones plan to travel to Estes Park Colorado. The Board gave tentative approval pending further fundraising efforts by the class and a more detailed itinerary.
Tim Galvin was present to report on the recent DECA competition in Des Moines. Seven students were entered and two, Ashley Anderson and Amber Swanson, qualified for the National DECA competition in Louisville, Kentucky from April 24 - 28. Galvin, the team coach, requested assistance with funding for he and the students to attend and participate. They will be going by bus with several other Iowa chapters.
The group have some funds in their account, plan to have fundraisers to raise additional funds. and also plan to meet with the City Council and Municipal Utilities to seek some assistance.
The Board approved providing $800 towards Tim Galvin's expenses and $350 for each student.
In personnel matters, the Board accepted the resignation of Aaron Ware as art teacher and Head Girls' Basketball Coach. Ware has taken a full-time position with the 185th Air Refueling Wing of the Iowa National Guard. The Board also approved contract offers for Ted Galvin as Junior High Boys' Track Coach and Kate Westphal as Jr. High Girls' Track Coach.
In other business, the Board approved the District's application for a Pre-school Grant and approved the 2010-1011 Master Calendar. The first day of school for students will be August 18, with a 12 noon dismissal. Winter Break will be from Dec. 22 - Jan. 2 and Spring Break will be Mar. 18 and 21. There are seven scheduled make-up days , none after Memorial Day, and the last scheduled day of classes for students will be May 20. The Master Calendar is essentially the same as the Alta School District's 2010-11 calendar.
Ann Sandine informed the Board that Jennifer Wittmack would like to start an FCCLA (Future Career and Community Leaders of America) chapter at Aurelia (FCCLA is the current name for what used to called FHA, which was once very active in the Aurelia school). The board suggested that Wittmack determine student interest in forming an Aurelia chapter, and then make a formal proposal to the Board.
Superintendent Evans informed the Board that the Bulldog Booster Club had offered to pay for half of the treadmill upgrade in the Wellness Center and that he had given his approval to move forward to explore that further.
The next regular Board Meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday April 12, following the Public Budget Hearing.