AURELIA - The Board of Directors of the Aurelia School District met for their regular monthly meeting on Monday.
Principal Ann Sandine presented the month's Showcase on Education. Sandine said is very pleased that the High School students have developed a good relationship with the elementary students and realize that the younger students look up to them. She then presented a brief video which showed the members of the high school choir performing a "rap" version of the pre-schoolers' "Mustard Seed Song" for the appreciative audience of pre-schoolers in their classroom at the school.
In other business, Superintendent Jack Johnson reminded Board members of the IASB Convention in Des Moines on November 18. He also presented an itinerary for the band's proposed out-of-state trip, and the Board approved the trip. Band members have raised much of the money needed and the Board approved providing additional funding.
Transportation Director John Hill was present and gave a summary of the condition of the school's bus vehicles, the bus barn and drivers. Hill said he has done 33 work orders on bus equipment since starting his job a month ago, and emphasized the importance to keep the school's fleet of vehicles up-to-date and in good repair, particularly with the additional travel time which the sharing of sports and classes will bring.
Johnson advised the Board that new buses now cost $85,000-$90,000 each and that this should be kept in mind for future spending. The District has advertised for substitute drivers and has not gotten any response. Hill said he looked at the salary the Aurelia District is currently paying drivers, and stated that it is below the average salary of other area schools. Superintendent Johnson discussed the possibility of compensating drivers in some way for attending their mandatory three hour training, as attending the training would mean that the driver would likely miss out on salary from his/her regular job to take the time needed to attend the driver training.
Johnson and Hill have also discussed the changes in bandwidth requirements that the FCC has made and note that the District will have to add a new 2-way radio and another repeater by 2013 to meet the standards. Johnson said he is working on that and they will most likely meet those standards well in advance of the mandate. Estimated cost will be $10,000. No action was taken on any of these issues at this time.
Hill stated that the bus barn is in need of repair, and this is one of the areas at which the Facility Committee of Myron Radke and Mike Kruger looked.
That committee gave a report of their findings, and the Board approved spending up to $10,000 to contract for repairs on the bus barn.
They also approved hiring Dwight Thrasher to trim and/or remove trees as necessary on school property. Thrasher will be advised that the District would appreciate that any work he does in close proximity to the school building be done on weekends or evenings, so as not to cause undue distraction for students. The District currently has about $560,000 in their PPEL and SILO funds, which are used for maintaining the school's physical properties.
The current enrollment was discussed and the school's budget enrollment for the year, as of October 1, is 260.2, down 22.3% from last year. Much of the difference can be attributed to the difference in the size of last year's graduating class and this year's TK class.
In other business, the Board approved a request for early graduation and approved the first reading of Board Policy 505.5, which deals with Graduation Requirements; accepted the resignation of Grant Peckenschneider as Jr. High girls' basketball coach; approved a contract for Ashley Partow as Jr. High girls' basketball coach ; approved a contract for Jacob Bruce as Jr. High boys' basketball coach; accepted the resignation of Kasey Reilly, who has taken other full-time employment, as study hall monitor; and approved the hiring of Todd Walter as study hall monitor.
The Board also discussed the November compliance visit and training sessions which Sandine and Johnson have attended in preparation for that visit; and discussed possible candidates for filling the vacancies on the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC). Candidates will be sent a letter, inviting them to join the committee.
Membership in several other committees will be filled by administrative appointment or from existing committees.
The School Board's next regular meeting will be Monday, November 9 at 6:30 p.m.