AURELIA - In the midst of on-going interviews for the past week with candidates for the Shared Superintendent position with the Alta District, the Aurelia School Board held its regular monthly Board meeting on Monday.
Principal Ann Sandine presented the month's Showcase on Education, speaking about that day's Educational Development meeting with both the Aurelia and Alta teachers. The AEA presented a program to the teachers on the new Iowa Core Program and the teachers also met with students to discuss "what they would like the Middle School to look like" next year when the whole-grade sharing gets under way. Sandine said that the teachers were all very enthused and excited about the future.
She also told the Board that, though all staffing decisions have not yet been finalized, it appears at this time that there will not be any staff reductions in either District for next school year.
Sandine also reported that the Aurelia District has only missed two days of school (Jan. 10 and 11) because of weather this year, and that the school calendar calls for those two days to be made up on May 23 and May 24. May 24 will be the last day of classes, provided there are no more weather cancellations. Sandine also noted that there are currently two Buena Vista University students who are doing observations at the Aurelia school and another who will be student teaching with Mr. Meyer in February.
Sandine said that long-time Aurelia teacher Mike Fry, who is deployed in Afghanistan this year, has been communicating on a regular basis with students via e-mail and Skype, and surprised the students on Dec. 21 when another soldier who was home on leave, Sgt. Brice Dreckman, came to school and presented the school with some photos Fry had taken, and then spoke with students at all grade levels for quite awhile. Sandine said the students asked Sgt. Dreckman a lot of questions.
On January 26th, the school will be celebrating the 100th Day of School, and this year, students are gathering up such items as pens, suckers, mittens and socks to send to Mr. Fry for the children in Afghanistan.
Sandine said there are a lot of different things on the school schedule in the next month, including several jazz band, jazz choir and speech contests. The High School Jazz Band competed in a state contest in LeMars last weekend, and the young band earned three "I" ratings.
In other business, the Board approved the first reading of Board Policy 411.9, 'Custodial Policies,' and the second reading of Board Policy 705.3, 'Payment for Goods and Services.'
In old business, Superintendent Jack Johnson advised the Board that he had spoken with two firms about looking at possible architectural changes at the school, and the Board approved his contacting one construction firm, which will be in the area in the next week, to stop by and take a look at the Aurelia school, so that he can provide the school with an estimate .
The Board also accepted the resignation of a half-time bus driver and thanked him for his service.
Board member Brad Rohwer expressed a concern about management of the Fitness Center. He said he knew that there had once been a committee, and that Coach Fry (now deployed) and Coach Radke (now retired) had been in charge of making sure things were operating efficiently at the Center, but he wondered if perhaps a more formal or structured management should have been implemented at the time, or should be now.
The Board agreed, and appointed Rohwer and Board member Myron Radke to get something organized and report back to the Board at the next meeting.
The joint Boards have met with three of the candidates for the Shared Superintendent position in the last week, and had the fourth and final interview scheduled for Tuesday evening.
After that, at Tuesday night's closed session, the Boards evaluated all the candidates, and then either offered the position to one of the candidates or scheduled another closed session for tonight if they were unable to reach a decision on Tuesday.