SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
MAY 12, 2003
The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session
May 12, 2003, in the media center of the Intermediate building.
President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. The following
board members were present: Tom Farley, John Burrell, Greg Davis
and Debbie Miller. Superintendent Susan Garton, Secondary Principal
Terry Gladfelter, Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend, Intermediate
Principal Cindy Butler, and Board Secretary Julie Wilson were in
with members of the community.
AGENDA: Superintendent Garton related to the Board that a parent
had made a request to consider adding an agenda item for a hearing
to provide bus services for her child. Motion by Farley, seconded
by Miller to approve the agenda with the addition of item 9AA, “Student
hearing.” Ayes: 5.
VISITORS: Brittany Stanley, Jackie Swim, and Allison Warren presented
a slide show from the Southwest History Trip.
Joe Clay related to the Board that he had been selected to participate
in the Youth Training Core for Character (YTC). The YTC is a project
that integrates character development, youth service, youth leadership
and youth empowerment. Joe will participate in the YTC training
process and then participate in active service by providing training
and support to other youth groups and organizations throughout
I’m happy to report all repairs on our busses cited by the
inspector are done and we have received our approval stickers.
We do, however, have one bus left that needs to be inspected. This
is set up for June 3rd at Pleasantville. We also received our report
back on our diesel emissions test and have made vast improvements
from the last report.
Due to the shortage of bus drivers and all the extra trips in
April, I did have to borrow a substitute bus driver from Indianola.
Starting May 2nd, we will be transporting Lacy Carico to and from
Lacona everyday. I’m glad she is doing better and I have
seen improvement in just a week, but on the down side, I lost a
van driver who went back to work as an aid in Lacona. So right
now I’m transporting her both a.m. and p.m. I am also transporting
Kenny Doss 5 days a week according to his schedule.
Just for your information, after the accident in Indianola with
one of their busses, they have asked to use one of ours. So if
you have someone ask you why they have seen a SEW bus around Indianola,
you will know the answer.
I have purchased a CD called Help Me Street to help me put together
the handbook for next year. I’m looking at restructuring
some of the routes in order to save time.
I am working on a vehicle for Driver’s Education in June.
There is a possibility of renting one from Holmes Chevrolet for
$8.00 a day, or more than likely, use our own ’98 Ford Windstar.
Whichever way we chose to go, we will have to do some brake work.
Secondary Principal’s Report:
Community Service/Spring Games – I would like to publicly
congratulate Mr. Ripperger and the members of the Student Council
for their organization and leadership in accomplishing this day’s
events. Teachers and staff all participated with student groups
to clean, polish, pick-up, paint, wash, mow and generally “spruce
up” our communities. The morning started with a canned food
drive, then the community service and in the afternoon the spring
games. It was a positive and exciting day.
Valedictorian Recognition – Congratulations to Tyler Spoon
our SEW Valedictorian. He was recently recognized at an official
awards ceremony along with the other top graduates throughout the
state. He had his picture taken with Governor Vilsack and will
also be on television spots that honor the top graduates throughout
Intermediate Principal’s Report:
At the October board meeting I shared last year’s reading
scores from ITBS and reading fluency testing (how quickly they
can read grade level material without errors) conducted this fall.
The teachers and I examined the data, teachers received some training
in reading strategies and have used different strategies. We have
received this year’s ITBS results and we re-tested for reading
fluency this spring. I would like to share those results with you.
ITBS Reading Comprehension
Less Than Proficient
Less than Proficient is 40th percentile or lower
Advanced is 91st percentile or higher
Our scores remained generally the same as last year’s fourth
Average Word Count
Fourth graders are expected to have a larger increase in words
per minute than fifth and sixth graders, which they did. All grades
made better than expected growth.
Elementary Principal’s Report:
· Annett Nature Center 4-24
· Preschool to Des Moines Playhouse “Stone Soup” (optional)
· ECSE to mini-olympics @ Emerson School in Indianola 5-22
· Annett Nature Center 4-15
· Dykstra and Meade farms and Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines 5-16
· Pella 5-6
· Pella 4-25
· Des Moines Playhouse, Botanical Center & Historical Building 5-8
· Civic Center and Science Center in Des Moines 4-22
· Warren County Historical Museum in Indianola 5-23
· Open House 8-27 (parent meeting included)
· Homecoming pep rally 9-23
· Preschool participation in homecoming parade 9-26
· Family Fishing Day 9-28
· Student pictures 9-30
· Fire Prevention Day 10-8
· Kindergarten Grandparents’ Week 10-21
· Red Ribbon week 10-28
· High School presentation of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie
· Veteran’s day Assembly & dedication of flagpole 11-11
· Annual Cookie Walk & Book Fair 12-7
· Elementary Christmas Program 12-16
· Kindergarten’s 100’s Day Celebration 1-27
· Elementary Carnival & Book Fair 3-7
· Participation in state-wide tornado drill 3-26
· Kindergarten round-up parent mtg. 4-10
· Spring student pictures 4-11
· Joyce Leonard – yodeler assembly 4-11
· Earth Week activities 4-16
· High School presentation of “Charlotte’s Web” 4-23
· Smart Discipline Seminars for parents & teachers 4-24
· Kindergarten Day Celebration 4-25
· Kindergarten ABC Picnic 5-9
· Family Fishing Day 5-17
· Field/Fine Arts Day 5-20
· Character Program 5-20
· 2nd and 3rd grade Spring Concert & Community Center 5-27
Legislative Report – Tom Farley reported that the legislature
has adjourned without passing the Iowa Values Fund, which would
provide for school infrastructure equity. A special session of
the legislature will be called to complete work on an economic
development plan to grow Iowa. Phase III has been discontinued
but the class size initiative and teacher quality programs will
still be funded.
Children First Forum – Greg Davis reported that the Children
First Forum met on May 7th. Items of discussion were transition
of students to different buildings and a new At-Risk program for
our district called “CARE.” The next meeting of the
Children First Forum will be held on Monday, June 2, at the Primary
Media Center beginning at 7:00 p.m. Multi Cultural Gender Fair
issues, Drug Free Schools, summer meeting schedule and Special
Ed will be agenda items.
Athletic Boosters – Kevin Smith reported that the concession
stands at the baseball and softball fields had been broken into
again. Measures are being taken to get the problem under control.
Fine Arts Boosters & Non-Certified Negotiations – Debbie
Miller reported the negotiations have been settled with the non-certified
staff. After the non-certified staff has ratified the contract,
the board will vote, then contracts will be issued.
The Fine Arts Boosters discussed possible fundraisers at their
last meeting. Possibilities include selling SEW shirts and have
a concession stand during Ragbri.
CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were on the consent agenda:
1. April 14, 2003 minutes
2. Financial reports
Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the consent agenda.
SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Food Service Budget
This budget report covers aspects of the food service program
for the district.
On July 1, 2001, when I arrived in Southeast Warren, the food
service program was in debt $49, 474. That means that expenses
during the past year(s) had exceeded income. The district paid
salaries and other food service expenses from the general fund,
causing the food service program to owe the general fund.
In my first year as superintendent, I established some control
over food service spending by joining the food coop, an organization
which prepares competitive bids for food items used by coop member
districts. I reduced one part time employee. The board had already
decided to eliminate the position of food service director. Consequently,
I have supervised the food service program last year and again
this year. “Supervised” is probably not the best term,
since the other hats I wear take most of my time. There has been
little direct supervision provided for food service. Fortunately,
the employees are experienced and work diligently without supervision.
On July 1, of 2002, the food service debt had been reduced to
$26, 131. Throughout the year, I continued to monitor expenses,
and required changes where necessary. During this second year,
the food service department paid for its own equipment repair,
kitchen repair, staff training, and software for food service accounting.
In earlier years, the district had paid these expenses from the
By March 31, 2003, the food service debt was entirely retired.
Salaries for March and April were paid from the general fund, but
reimbursed the next month by food service. This is good news, but
the debt-free status will not be sustained over the summer months,
since employees are paid over 12 months, but food service has no
income during the summer months. By September, 2003, the food service
department will incur additional expenses for summer repair of
equipment, summer training for employees, and software for food
service accounting. The amount of debt by September, 2003, could
be as much as $12,000.
The goal for food service is to be self-supporting. To accomplish
this goal, the food service program must be operated just like
a good business. The district must offer attractive meals to students
and adults. The district must be efficient in all aspects of food
service operations. This goal is achievable within one year. With
the help of food service directors from other districts and consultants
from the Department of Education, I have identified what needs
to be done to turn our food service department into a fully self-supported
All of the districts in our area have self-supported food service
departments. In addition to paying all salaries and benefits associated
with food service, the departments buy new equipment, lunch tables,
ice cream machines, and other improvements for the kitchen, and
still maintain a healthy cash balance for emergencies.
The Department of Education sends an annual report to the district providing
the average cost per lunch and breakfast, our total food costs for the last
fiscal year, and the total labor costs. According to the Department of Education
Report received May 5, 2003, food purchases totaled $97,515 for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 2002. Total salaries and benefits were $83,303 for the
same period of time.
During the same fiscal year, the district served 83,223 meals.
Of these, 78,309 were reimbursable lunches. All student lunches
are reimbursable; adult lunches and a la carte sales are NOT reimbursable.
That means the district receives no money for the sale of an adult
lunch or a la carte item. For any regular student lunch, the district
is reimbursed 24 cents.
The total costs per lunch are reported by the DE as follows:
|Total costs per lunch:
Current lunch prices:
Salaries & benefits
The total costs per breakfast are reported by the DE as follows:
|Total costs per breakfast:
Current breakfast price:
Salaries & benefits
These totals show that our costs per meal exceed the amount paid
by the student for both breakfast and lunch.
I recommend the board consider increasing the price per lunch
to $1.50 for elementary students, $1.60 for secondary students,
and $2.50 for adults.
I recommend the board consider increasing breakfast prices to
$1.25 for everyone.
There was no increase in the price of meals last year.
Other changes for food service budgeting:
Beginning July 1, 2003, pay Sue Ellingson from the Food Service budget for
Beginning in August, pay an aide from the Food Service budget for serving as
cashier at the high school.
Beginning in August, pay an aide for lunch room supervision and help in serving
at the primary center.
The most important number in the food service budget is the number
of students who qualify for free or reduced meals. This year, 26%
of the students in the district qualify. This percentage is used
in the calculations for all kinds of state payments to school districts
and for the determination of eligibility for grants.
Recently, I prepared to write a proposal for grant funding for
the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant, a grant to provide
after-school activities for students. The funding source would
provide up to $250,000 a year for each of three years for districts
establishing community-based enrichment programs after school.
After doing some preliminary research, I learned that only districts
with a free and reduced lunch count of over 35% were eligible to
apply. This is the second grant this year where our district was
NOT eligible to apply.
In the grants we did receive this year, the formula for determining
our funding was based in part upon the free and reduced lunch count.
In fact, all grants, except those under $10,000, use the free and
reduced lunch count as a standardized indicator of poverty in the
Each August during registration, parents are encouraged to fill
out the application for free and reduced lunch. Not all parents
feel comfortable in doing this. No one wants to be labeled poor
or disadvantaged. Not everyone is willing to give confidential
information about salaries to the school. For those hesitant parents,
we offer reassurance. The guidelines are liberal. Many middle-income
families are eligible, even if both parents are employed outside
the home. The applications are kept confidential. Only one person
reviews the application. One other person maintains the record
for food service. Students who receive free or reduced lunch are
never identified in the lunch line, or at any other time during
the school year.
The state and federal reimbursement for a free or reduced meal
brings needed income into the food service department. Compare
these reimbursement rates:
|Purchased student lunch
||$ .24 Reimbursement
|Reduced price lunch
||$ .25 Reimbursement
||$ .65 Reimbursement
||$ .95 Reimbursement
If more families would apply for free or reduced lunches, the
district would not need to increase lunch prices.
BOARD POLICIES 503.9R and 505.10: Motion by Miller, seconded by
Davis to approve the second reading of Board Policy 503.9R, “Good
Conduct Rule Grades 7-12” and Board Policy 505.10, “Graduation
Requirements.” Discussion followed concerning the pros and
cons of raising the graduation requirements.
Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to separate the board policies
and approve the second reading of Board Policy 503.9R, “Good
Conduct Rule Grades 7-12.” Ayes: 5.
Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the second reading
of Board Policy 505.10, “Graduation Requirements.” Ayes:
Miller, Davis, Farley and Smith. Nays: Burrell. Motion passed 4:1.
John Burrell asked to have the records state that open enrollment
out for this year is currently at 50 students.
STUDENT HEARING: The Board went into closed session as per Iowa
Code Section 21.5(1)(e) to conduct a hearing to determine whether
to suspend or expel a student from bus privileges. The time was
8:48 p.m. President Smith called the hearing to a close at 9:03
PERSONNEL CHANGES: Superintendent Garton recommended accepting
the resignation of Susan Crall from her teaching position. Motion
by Farley, seconded by Miller to accept the resignation of Susan
Crall. Ayes: 5.
Superintendent Garton recommended accepting the resignation of
Brenda Vodraska from her teaching position with regret and with
appreciation for starting the Life Skills Program. Motion by Davis,
seconded by Miller to accept the resignation of Brenda Vodraska.
Superintendent Garton recommended accepting the resignation of
Cindy Butler from Academic Team Advisor. Motion by Miller, seconded
by Davis to accept the resignation of Cindy Butler from Academic
Team Advisor. Ayes: 5.
Superintendent Garton recommended hiring Brady Smith, Assistant
Softball coach; Mike Donnenwerth, JH Baseball Coach; Brenton Tigner,
Driver’s Ed Instructor; and Tim Cerwinske, Spanish Club Advisor.
Motion by Miller, seconded by Burrell to approve the hiring of
personnel as presented. Ayes: 5.
2003 GRADUATES: Motion by Davis, seconded by Miller to approve
the list of graduates as presented. Ayes: 5.
NEW YORK TRIP: Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve
the High School Choir Trip to New York City. Ayes: 5. The trip
has been planned for the week of March 21 – March 26, 2004.
The cost of the trip will be approximately $625 per person. Fund
raising activities will be planned to help students pay for the
cost of the trip.
BOARD PUBLICATIONS: Superintendent Garton recommended publishing
a brief version of the minutes in the Record-Herald instead of
the full minutes. This change would save approximately $200 per
month in publication costs. Motion by Farley, seconded by Davis
to approve the change in publication. Ayes: 5.
LUNCH PRICES: Superintendent Garton recommended increasing lunch
prices to $1.50 for elementary; $1.60 for secondary; and $2.50
for adults and increase breakfast prices to $1.25 for adults. The
current lunch prices are $1.40 for elementary, $1.50 for secondary
and $2.00 for adults. The current breakfast price is $1.00 for
everyone. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the increase
in lunch and breakfast prices. Ayes: 5.
REGISTRATION FEES: Superintendent Garton recommended increasing
student registration fees from the current fee of $22.50 to $30.
Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the $30 registration
fee effective August 2003. Ayes: Farley, Miller, Davis and Smith.
Nays: Burrell. Motion passed 4:1.
CONFERENCE TICKETS: Superintendent Garton related that the Pride
of Iowa Conference has recommended increasing ticket prices to
$4 per adult and $2 per student for varsity POI events. Currently
the ticket prices are $3 per adult and $2 per student. Motion by
Davis, seconded by Miller to approve the POI ticket price increase
to $4 per adult and $2 per student. Ayes: 5.
DISPOSITION OF OLD SCHOOLHOUSE: The Board discussed possible alternatives
for the old school house. The Board requested a contractor look
at the building for a recommendation on the possibility of fixing
the building for use. Item tabled until the next board meeting.
SUIT AGAINST DESIGN ALLIANCE: Superintendent Garton reported that
two attorneys had been contacted on the possibility of bringing
suit against Design Alliance. Both attorneys had declined taking
the case on a contingency basis. Design Alliance was to have provided
drawings and materials to cover the foam wall in Lacona. The drawings
were provided, but Design Alliance did not follow through with
the payment of materials. Discussion was held by the Board.
BUILDING OR LOT FOR INDUSTRIAL ARTS PROJECT: Superintendent Garton
reported that she is working of a grant to purchase land or a building
for an Industrial Arts project. The project would be funded entirely
by grant funds and would not come from the General Fund. Motion
by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the Superintendent to
continue considering lots and buildings for a possible Industrial
Arts project contingent upon receipt of grant funding and final
board approval. Ayes: 5.
BOARD POLICIES: Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve
the review and revision of board Policy Section 401, “Certified
Personnel Selection” and 407, “Non-Certified Personnel
Selection.” Ayes: 5.
President Smith adjourned the meeting at 10:23 p.m.
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