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SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
APRIL 14, 2003

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session April 14, 2003, in the media center of the Intermediate building. President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. The following board members were present: Tom Farley, John Burrell, Greg Davis and Debbie Miller. Superintendent Susan Garton, Secondary Principal Terry Gladfelter, 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 Farley, seconded by Davis to approve the agenda. Ayes: 5.

VISITORS: None

REPORTS:

Secondary Principal’s report:

Terry Gladfelter presented revised graduation requirements for the Board’s consideration. Mr. Gladfelter recommended increasing the graduation requirements over the next three years from 48 credits this year to 52 credits for 2006. Compared to other schools in the Pride of Iowa Conference, Southeast Warren is currently at the low end for graduation requirements. By increasing the graduation requirements to 52, Southeast Warren would fall into the mid-range area compared to other schools in the conference. The current graduation requirements are not high enough to keep students busy during their senior year. The increase in graduation requirements will help prepare our students for the next level of education.

The proposed graduation requirement for 2004 would be 50 credits, one additional credit in Language Arts. P.E. would count as 1 credit/year instead of the current ¼ credit/year. The proposed graduation requirement for 2005 would be 51 credits, two additional credits in Math and two additional credits in Fine Arts, but three less elective credits. The proposed graduation requirement for 2006 would be 52 credits, two additional credits in Science, but one less elective credit.

Mr. Gladfelter presented a revised Good Conduct Rule for the Board’s consideration. Mr. Gladfelter reviewed Good Conduct Rules from other conference schools and the School Administrators of Iowa sample policy to come up with a revised Good Conduct Rule for Southeast Warren students. Administrative procedures will be established for coaches and teachers to follow when students are ineligible.

Primary Principal’s report:

Charlotte Weaklend presented information on the ITBS results compared to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards for this year’s current third and fourth graders. The ITBS results fall below the goal of 100% proficiency set by NCLB. A consultant is scheduled to meet with Charlotte to review the results of the ITBS tests and offer suggestions on improving proficiency.

Intermediate Principal’s Report:

Tuesday, April 1, the teacher members of the district curriculum council and I traveled to Interstate 35 to meet with their curriculum director and a team of teachers on their school improvement committee. They shared information on the benefits they are enjoying from membership in the curriculum consortium. The teachers were very enthusiastic and heartily endorsed membership in the consortium.

Eighty percent of their taught curricula align with the MIALT, the criterion referenced test of the consortium, compared to only 60% alignment with ITBS. Interstate 35 teachers have used the results of the MIALT to identify three weak areas of curricula and teaching. They spent most of their professional development for the year working on strategies to more effectively teach these areas. Since the MIALT’s are given twice a year, they will know by spring if their training and practice has made an impact in the targeted areas.

After the visit to Interstate 35, SEW council members presented information during staff meetings and addressed questions and concerns. During the early out on April 9th, all our reading and language arts teachers reviewed the consortium’s language arts standards and benchmarks comparing them to what we currently teach. We considered changes we might want to make to the benchmarks, but agreed the standards and benchmarks closely align with what we teach. We discussed a few areas of concern but decided to adopt the standards and benchmarks as they are. Teachers not participating in the language arts review on April 9th began writing standards and benchmarks in their own areas of concentration, or worked with Mr. Gladfelter reviewing the special education plan.

We will review the mathematics standards and benchmarks at next month’s early out. The review process will be completed by the end of the year in math, language arts, and science - establishing uniform standards K-12 as required by the state.

Transportation report:

There have been several issues come up this last month regarding the transportation department budget. I am very confident that we will be below our budget at the end of the year, even with the cuts that we’ve made and the extra students in Special Ed. that we are now transporting.

I would like to respond to a few items that were mentioned in the budget planning session. First of all, several items do get billed directly to the school, for example tires, Thomas Bus Sales, Freightliner and O’Hallaron International. Second, the oil is billed out cheaper than what it has been in previous years. Third, parts mark-up from NAPA is needed to help offset my cost for handling all the parts, this includes my time locating them and going after them. Fourth, the labor rate per hour is considerably cheaper than anywhere you could have the same work done. If there are any questions on the budget and why I charge what I do, please ask. My door is always open to answer any questions.

The bus inspections went well. We had two buses taken out of service, bus #16 for seat belt buckle and bus #6 for strobe light inoperable. A few 30-day repairs were given; one van had a fire extinguisher that had been emptied, one school bus sign not installed and rust repair on bus #8. We do have bus #8 scheduled to go to Tomin’ Towing this Thursday afternoon to be repaired. All other repairs have been made and forms faxed in.

All of our drivers have completed their three-hour training course.

I’m pleased to announce a new van driver, Candy Drone from Lacona. She will be transporting Kenny Doss for us. I’m also training Diane Houghland from Milo as a substitute driver.

Legislative report – Tom Farley reported that the Local Option Tax Equity bill (SF 314) is now on the House Calendar. The Senate amendment narrowed the definition of school infrastructure to exclude a PPEL or PERL allowable expense. IASB is convinced that most districts would use the revenue for construction, however, many districts that have already taken care of infrastructure needs or many smaller districts that are looking to reorganize or share would benefit from spending sales tax revenue on a bus or some computers. IASB asks that we let all senators know the importance of this flexibility to use local option revenue for PPEL expenses.

Tom Farley also reported on the Virtual Academies bill (SF 383) that authorizes the use of virtual courses in Iowa high schools. Virtual courses are those taught online. The bill establishes a new position in the DE to oversee the use of virtual courses. The House and IASB have serious concerns about this bill and are working to correct them. The major concern is the DE would have control over local courses, credit and other issues that should remain within control of the local district. Another major concern involves a conflict in licensing requirements for those who qualify to teach a virtual academy course.

Warren County Conference Board – John Burrell reported that the Farm Bureau is contesting the Warren County Assessors Office budget, however, that will not be an issue that effects our school.

Children First Forum – Greg Davis thanked the community members who came to the meeting last week to provide input on budget concerns. Following the budget discussion, the Children First Forum discussed the Good Conduct Policy and graduation requirements. Rod Fridley related that given the limited time for meetings and the desire to gather as much input as possible, the core committee has devised a process for establishing agendas for the meetings. The next meeting of the Children First Forum will be held on Monday, May 5th at 7:00 in the Intermediate Media Center. The agenda topic will be transition between the buildings.

Athletic Boosters – Kevin Smith reported that the Boosters have sold several signs for the ball fields. The money will go to baseball, softball and the Boosters.

Fine Arts Boosters & Non-Certified Negotiations – The spring play will be held on April 26 and 27th. Negotiations have not been completed with the non-certified staff. Mediation has been scheduled for May 7th.

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

1. March 10, March 24, and April 7, 2003 minutes
2. Financial reports

Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the items on the consent agenda. Ayes: 5.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Superintendent Garton presented information on the current telephone system. Superintendent Garton has been investigating the costs of telephone and Internet services with a goal of reducing the costs overall while improving services. An E-Rate grant has been applied for which will reduce the phone bill at Liberty Center by $300+ per month next year. Eliminating private lines for the portable buildings, eliminating inside wire maintenance agreements, eliminating a reserved line and eliminating one premium call plan will generate additional savings. Superintendent Garton has received a quote of $5,033.88 for a new phone system at Liberty Center. The system would be equipped for 8 phone lines and 24 stations and would include 26 voice mailboxes.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Superintendent Garton recommended approval to hire Sherry Northway, JH Softball Coach, pending completion of her coaching certification requirements; add Assistant JH Track Coaches’ salary to Head Coaches’ salary for Scott Dirkx and Jason Walter; hire Candy Drone and Claire Dittmer as substitute drivers; and add Brenda Chamberlain, Spring Play Director. Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the personnel changes as presented. Ayes: 5.

2003-2004 BUDGET GUARANTEE: Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the following resolution: Resolved, that the Board of Directors of the Southeast Warren Community School District, consistent with Iowa Code section 257.14, will levy property tax for the fiscal year in order that the district’s 2003-2004 regular program district costs will be 100 percent of the 2002-2003 regular program district cost plus any moneys received under section 257.14 as a budget adjustment for 2002-2003. Ayes: 5.

2003-2004 BUDGET: A hearing was held allowing members of the public to ask questions or express concerns about the proposed 2003-2004 budget. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the 2003-2004 budget. Ayes: 5. The adopted tax rate is $17.97641 per $1,000 taxable valuation.

2003-2004 SCHOOL CALENDAR: Motion by Farley, seconded by Davis to approve the 2003-2004 school calendar as presented. Ayes: 5.

ISCAP PROGRAM: Superintendent Garton recommended continued participation in the Iowa School Cash Anticipation Program. Motion by Davis, seconded by Burrell to approve the supplemental resolution authorizing and providing for the issuance, and authorizing and directing the final terms and conditions of sale and delivery of warrants evidenced by warrant certificates for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, and amending the master resolution. Ayes: 5.

JOB DESCRIPTIONS: Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the job descriptions for certified and non-certified staff. Ayes: 5. A suggestion was made to add CPR or First Aid training requirements for some classifications of employees. A change was requested on the Business Manager/Board Secretary’s job description to delete “Superintendent and” from “Reports to & Evaluated by: Superintendent and Board of Directors.”

BOARD POLICY 503.9R: Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the revision of Board Policy 503.9R, “Good Conduct Rule Grades 7-12.” Ayes: 5.

BOARD POLICY 505.10: Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the revision of Board Policy 505.10, “Graduation Requirements.” Ayes: Miller, Farley, Davis and Smith. Nays: Burrell. Motion passed 4:1. Discussion was generated about concerns of the requirements being to high for some students, required Fine Arts credits, only 1 Business Education credit requirement, and the opportunity to take elective courses in areas such as Ag, Family & Consumer Science, and Industrial Technology.

2001-2002 AUDIT REPORT: Julie Wilson briefly reviewed the 2001-2002 Audit Report prepared by Nolte, Cornman and Johnson, P.C. Motion by Davis, seconded by Burrell to accept the 2001-2002 Audit Report. Ayes: 5.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ACCREDITATION REPORT: The Board reviewed the official response from the district to the Department of Education Accreditation Report.

SPECIAL EDUCATION PLAN: Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to authorize the revision of the Southeast Warren Community School District Special Education Plan, as recommended in the Special Education Compliance Report and in the Department of Education Accreditation Report. The plan is to be revised through a collaborative effort of administrators, AEA support staff, parents, and/or community representatives. Ayes: 5.

CLOSED SESSION: The Board did not hold a closed session.

BOARD POLICY SECTIONS 406 AND 411: Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the review of Board Policy Sections 406, “Part-time Personnel” and 411, “Non-Certified Personnel Related Considerations.” Ayes: 5.

President Smith adjourned the meeting at 9:58 p.m.

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