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SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2003

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session January 13, 2003, in the media center of the Primary building. President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The following board members were present: John Burrell, Tom Farley and Debbie Miller. Greg Davis was absent. Superintendent Susan Garton, Intermediate Principal Cindy Butler, Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend and Board Secretary Julie Wilson were in attendance, along with members of the community.

AGENDA: Motion by Burrell to add a closed session to the agenda. Motion died for lack of a second. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the agenda. Ayes: 4.

VISITORS: Superintendent Garton recognized Julie Wilson with a certificate of appreciation from the Bureau of Children, Family and Community Services for the submission of an errorless 2001-02 Web Special Education Supplement to the Certified Annual Report. Approximately 36% of Iowa districts submitted a 2001-02 Web Special Education Supplement that did not require any corrections or revisions.

Superintendent Garton also recognized Pauline Ripperger for the excellent job she did while filling in during Julie Wilson’s absence.

REPORTS:

Transportation Report:

1. Starting out the new year, things have begun on a very good note. There have been a few changes. Starting January 13th, a student will be taken to the State Capital where he will be working as a page in the Senate two days a week. He is attending Southeast Warren and has been getting picked up by our Superintendent.
2. There are now two vans going to Des Moines on a daily basis in order to meet the schedules.
3. The other change has been with a student who was injured and is in a wheel chair. I have been transporting her to school since December. Starting January 13th, Claire Dittmer will be driving this route until her surgery, which will be later in January.
4. Last week I had a few problems with bus #6, therefore, I borrowed a bus from Indianola for two days until repairs were made. I would like to thank Danny Thede for allowing us to use an Indianola bus.
5. Repairs on buses have been minor. Bus #2 went to Thomas Bus Sales for warranty repairs during Christmas break.
6. I am working with NAPA on exchanging the district’s inventory of parts into inventory we can use. They have agreed to make a dollar for dollar exchange on parts. A list of the parts exchanged and what the parts were exchanged for will be provided when the deal is complete.

Intermediate Principal’s report:

1. Honor Roll – B average or better
2nd Quarter
6th graders – 65%
5th graders – 90%
4th graders – 64%

1st Semester
6th graders – 65%
5th graders – 95%
4th graders – 60%

2. Character Data – 86% of students did not receive any office referrals or detentions during the 1st semester.

3. Perfect Attendance
6th graders – 11 students
5th graders – 13 students
4th graders – 12 students
25% of student body

4. Constructed Response Supplement to the ITBS – This test is our alternative assessment in math and reading given to the 5th graders. It has been taken in the spring for the last two years. This year we gave it in November since the 5th grade did not take ITBS.

Our math scores have increased, although they are not where we want them. The reading scores are down slightly. The 5th grade teachers will share the individual student scores with the parents at conferences. I will share this information with all staff members and discuss with them ways to improve instruction so students can do better on this type of assessment in the future.

Secondary Principal’s report:

1. Our first set of ACT test scores have come in for the 11 students that took the test. Preliminary results are showing an overall improvement.

Composite Eng. Math Read. Sci.

6/2002 21.22 21.77 20 22.77 20.44

11/2002 21.45 21.18 21.09 22.54 20.81

2. REWARDS Program – Reading Excellence Word Attack Rate Development Strategies. As a result of the Gates-Macginitie reading test given in October, the seventh grade has initiated the REWARDS reading program. Through the work of Ms. Chamberlain and Mrs. Mitzelfelt, the program has been in place for about four weeks. Eight of our 7th grade students scored above the norm and have been placed in an independent reading program that is based on our district standards and benchmarks. These students have been given projects to complete that correlate with the standards and benchmarks.

The remaining 32 students have been divided into two sections for the REWARDS program. Presently the students are working on the “Word Attack” section of the program, which deals with vowel sounds, combination of sounds, and being able to pronounce words at sight using these concepts. The students work on these concepts four days a week, and on the fifth day there is a literature component. Once the “Word Attack” section is completed the “Rate Development Strategies” will be taught. As the title implies, the goal is for increased reading rate and comprehension. Mrs. Mitzelfelt has already indicated that she is noticing an improvement in student spelling and word usage.
3. Buena Vista University Stock Market Game - The students of Mr. Ripperger’s Econ class participated with students from six other schools. Each team was given $100,000 to invest over a period of weeks. Our team came in first place with a return on their investment of 17%. Buena Vista University paid our students a visit with a winning plaque and a pizza lunch.
4. Mentoring Program – Mr. Tigner has begun to use juniors and seniors to mentor students in grades 7-9. The students are mentored 2-3 times a week or daily depending on availability and need. The student’s work is being checked, help for assignments, and basic organization is being monitored. We are hoping to see improvement in grades because homework assignments are being completed and turned in.
5. Organization skills – Because of the amount of homework being lost, not completed, or not being turned in, the 7th and 8th grade TEAM has implemented a program to help improve organizational skills. It is based on the program already in use in grade six. Each student is required to have a notebook with eight dividers and a grade tabulation sheet for each class. The consistency of the program is important so that each teacher can readily check to see if assignments are being completed and grades being recorded. Our mentors are also being used to check the notebooks for proper organization.

Primary Principal’s report:

1. We continue to expand our professional library here at the Primary building with books dealing with student behaviors, character education, teacher leadership, general instructional strategies, and developmentally appropriate practices in the area of early childhood education.
2. One of the changes in the new state teacher evaluation system is the emphasis on evaluators guiding teachers to self-evaluate, using the teaching standards as a context. Rather than just giving teachers feedback on the lessons that I observe in the classrooms, I am now asking teachers to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and in collaboration with me to develop a goal area for them to work on during the remainder of the current and the upcoming academic years until their next formal evaluation. We will together periodically review their progress toward achieving their goals, based on classroom observations and collected data.
3. Last week both DIBELS and DORF winter assessments were conducted. I will provide data regarding the results to the board as soon as it is available.
4. Character Data: 79% of K-3 students did not receive any office referrals or detentions during the 1st semester.
5. First semester perfect attendance:
3rd graders – 6 students
2nd graders – 8 students
1st graders – 6 students
Kindergartners – 7 students
19% of K-3 students overall

Legislative report: Tom Farley reported that the legislature convened today. It is never to early to start contacting legislators for support of the state wide sales tax and no budget reductions for education.

Children First Forum – Rod Fridley reported that the Children First Forum met on January 6th. Agenda topics included homework, discipline, student motivation, daycare policies and district goals. The next meeting will be held February 3rd in Milo at 7:00 p.m. District goals and student motivation will be the topics discussed.

Athletic Boosters – Kevin Smith related that the Athletic Boosters had a very successful PeeWee Wrestling tournament. Approximately 250 kids registered for the tournament, up 75 kids from last year. The Athletic Boosters did a fantastic job organizing the tournament.

CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were on the consent agenda:

1. Approve December 10, 2002, minutes
2. Financial reports

Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to include the addition of a bill from Rudy’s Rendezvous in the amount of $161.50 on the January payables. Ayes: 4. Motion by Farley, seconded by Burrell to approve the consent agenda as amended. Ayes: 4.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:

Fire/Safety Update for Liberty Center

During the winter break, Walsh Door Company installed two new sets of doors. These doors are at both ends of the junior high area of the school, near the superintendent’s office. These doors will be wired for automatic hold-open when the electrician can get to it.

Walsh Door will be installing doors at two other locations, as soon as possible. The outside door to the music room and the east gym doors have been repaired a number of times over the years.

Walsh Door will be providing other door hardware to make corrections as required by the fire marshal. Denny Hoch will install the hardware, with assistance from the Walsh rep.

Marty Miller of Miller Electric will coordinate the other fire safety equipment installations. Fire safety equipment (20 battery back up exit signs with emergency lighting) will be purchased from Iowa Fire Safety Equipment Company. Installation will be completed by Miller Electric. We expect installation to begin in late January.

All of these improvements to the fire safety equipment will be funded by the $50,000 fire safety grant.

BOARD POLICY 204.10: Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the second reading of Board Policy 204.10, “Order of Regular Business Meeting”. Ayes: 4.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Superintendent Garton recommended approval of hiring Carmen Neer, one-on-one aide, at Step 1; Rose Ripperger, Health Aide, at $9.00 per hour; and increase contract for Mike Tierney from ¼ time to ½ time for second semester. Mike is now teaching 4 periods – two periods of math and two periods of advanced computer classes. Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the personnel changes as stated. After discussion concerning the personnel changes by the board, Farley withdrew his motion and Miller withdrew her second.

Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the hiring of Carmen Neer and Rose Ripperger. Ayes: 4.

Motion by Farley, seconded by Burrell to table the increase in contract for Mike Tierney until the next board meeting. Ayes: 4. The Board requested information concerning the number of students in the classes and a long-range plan.

2003-2004 CALENDAR: Discussion was held to gather input for the 2003-2004 calendar. Suggestions included adding Martin Luther King Day as a holiday, looking at the number of early dismissals, the difference in time of the early dismissals, lost instructional time, and not taking the two days off for the State Wrestling Tournament. The Board requested research on what other schools do for students during the State Wrestling Tournament

DAYCARE RECOMMENDATIONS: Superintendent Garton presented the following Day Care recommendations:

1. The district will develop a brochure highlighting the established Day Care providers and distribute the brochure to all new families moving into the district.
2. The district will not provide care for three-year-olds.
3. The district will not provide care for four-year-olds unless private day care is unavailable in the community or unless a parent of a four-year-old is an employee of the district.
4. In all other ways, the district will strive to demonstrate cooperation and appreciation to private day care providers sufficient to maintain a healthy balance of locally provided care for the children in the district-wide community.
5. The district will continue to operate it’s before and after school day care service, as well as the summer day care program. The summer day care program will also be restricted to children five and older.
6. Increased fees for School Day Care:
a. Full day (5 days) $85.00
b. AM & PM $45.00
c. Other fees adjusted in proportion to the above increase.
7. All changes will be effective March 15, 2003.

Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the Day Care recommendations as presented. A lengthy discussion followed between board members and community members.

Carla Anders related that she currently has three children enrolled in day care at Southeast Warren, one of whom is a four-year-old. She enjoys the convenience of having all three kids at the same location. She also has the four-year-old enrolled in preschool. Carla requested that the board continue to allow four-year-olds to attend the school’s day care.

Merna Becker, Pat Chumbley and Sue Mason were present to represent the district-wide private day care providers. They related that local day care providers are concerned that the school’s day care for 3 and 4 year olds is affecting the balance of their children and their income. They feel that there is a need for their services and feel that there will be an undesired impact on future school enrollment if we do not continue to care for children ages infant through five. Private day care providers are needed to keep children in our community.

Matt Anders requested that four-year-olds be allowed to attend the school’s day care if the child is going to be ready for kindergarten the next year. It is extremely important to him for siblings to remain together instead of being separated into different day care centers. Matt also expressed concern at the amount of the increase in day care fees.

Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to amend the previous motion and add the following to the recommendations:

Add to #3: Parents have the right to choose their own provider.

Change #7: The rate increase will be effective June 1, 2003.

Add #8: Unusual circumstances will be considered on an individual basis in concert with private day care providers.

Ayes: 4.

The board voted unanimously to approve the original motion as amended.

BOARD POLICY SECIONS 404 AND 410: Motion by Miller, seconded by Burrell to approve the review and revision of Board Policy Sections 404, “Certified Personnel Leaves” and 410, “Non-Certified Personnel Absence & Leaves”. Ayes: 4.

President Smith adjourned the meeting at 9:52 p.m.

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