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SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR AND ORGANIZATIONAL BOARD MEETING
OCTOBER 14, 2002

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session October 14, 2002, at 7:06 p.m. in the media center of the junior/senior high school building. The meeting was called to order by President Judkins. The following board members were present: Greg Davis, Tom Farley, Kevin Smith and Debbie Miller. Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend, Intermediate Principal Cindy Butler, Secondary Principal Terry Gladfelter, and Board Secretary Julie Wilson were also in attendance, along with members of the community.

AGENDA: Motion by Davis, seconded by Farley to approve the agenda. Ayes: 5.

VISITORS: Rose Ripperger addressed the Board concerning the lack of a Computer Applications I course being available for students. There is only one nine-week computer course being offered at this time. That is not enough time to teach all of the necessary skills needed. Rose contacted colleges and was told that computer courses are not a requirement for admittance, but are very essential to have. College courses will require assignments to be completed by computer. The colleges she contacted also felt that not offering computer applications classes is setting the student way back. In talking to Principal Financial, she was told that computer skills are necessary for almost all positions. The district is offering advanced computer classes, but Rose was under the impression that beginning computer skills are needed before taking advanced computer courses. Rose requested that the Computer Applications I class be brought back for the second semester.

Abby Davis addressed the Board on behalf of the student body concerning semester tests being mandatory based on grades and attendance. Abby agreed that in the long run, semester tests would help test taking skills. Abby related that administration would not change the senior study hall policy in the middle of the semester, so it would be a double standard to change the semester test policy now. Abby related that she only needed one class for graduation, but took challenging classes to benefit herself. She is concerned that mandatory semester tests could bring her grade average down. She also related that some students work very hard, but can only achieve C’s. With a mandatory semester test policy, these students would not be able to exempt out of taking the tests. The semester test policy was not included in the student handbook when it was distributed at the beginning of the year. Abby requested that the Board review the policy and get parental feedback before approving the policy.

Michelle Spear, representing the Milo Fire Department, related to the Board that the Milo Fire Department had participated in activities related to safety with the students at the Primary building during Fire Prevention Week. The department wanted to thank Mrs. Weaklend and the school for allowing the department to come into the school and make this a safer place for children to live.

Tracy VanderLinden, Warren County Auditor, was present to answer questions from the public concerning the last school board election. She related that two write-ins won the election, but one was not a resident of the director district. That seat will have to be filled by appointment until the next election. The seat will then be up for election to fill the vacancy for the remaining two years of the term. Tracy related that the state approved district boundaries were received in her office on July 9th. Due to the population of Milo, it is necessary to divide the town into two districts. She also related that the Auditor’s office does not normally know of write-ins in advance. Director district maps are available in the Auditor’s office and in the Board Secretary’s office of the school. Redistricting is required every ten years based on the current census.

REPORTS:

Transportation report:

1. We have made changes to some of the routes due to new stops. It’s somewhat of a mixed blessing; it’s great to be picking up more students, but on the down side we have added several minutes to each route. Students are riding longer and the drivers are spending more time. I have brought this to your attention to make you aware that drivers are spending 30 to 45 minutes a day longer than a year ago. Their contract is for 1 ½ hours in the a.m. and 1 ½ hours in the p.m., most of the drivers are spending 2 hours in the a.m. and 1 ¾ in the p.m. My major concern is keeping drivers. Starting this year the drivers do get 30 minutes a week for fueling and cleaning. To give you a comparison of what I am referring to, I took April of 2002 and September of 2002 average mileage per day. April 2002 we averaged 572 miles per day, and in September 2002 we averaged 610 miles per day, on the same 6 routes. We have added miles and time to every route, and we can barely say we are under the hour. I know with the budget we don’t have the funds to add a route but at one point we may not have a choice.
2. There have been some questions over van usage. According to the Department of Education, unless it is considered an extension of the class room, the driver must be an employee of the district and have at least a Class D CDL passenger endorsement and 12 hours of D.E. training and a 3 hour class every year after, same as a bus driver.

When hauling students there must be a school bus sign on top of the van and conform to other rules of a yellow bus. I have purchased one new sign and we have two more that are in need of repair that I will install as soon as possible.

Employees should not use their own vehicles to transport students. Special education programs will have first priority over the use of the vans.
3. There has also been the subject of special education students riding a bus. I am still checking into the seat restraints needed for your liability, and also a problem with hauling preschool age students. The policy has been that unless they are special needs we do not transport these students. We are at the present time hauling two of these students and are waiting for the return of the Superintendent to address this situation.
4. The transportation of a student to Des Moines Orchard Place has been an issue and will continue to be an issue for at least till the end of this semester. Instead of hiring another driver, I would be willing to pick up this student every morning using the silver Dodge van in Milo and deliver the student to Indianola where they would transport him to Des Moines Orchard Place. This would save a driver to Des Moines and allow the student to arrive on time and save the use of the van for the high school. The cost of this would be $10.00 per day for me to take the student to Indianola plus approximately $14.76 per day to Indianola for transportation. I feel this is the most economical way, at this time, to insure the student arrives on time.
5. On October 8th we had our first half bus inspections. Here is a brief run down on the results: Bus 29, the old Indianola bus, was written up for tires, bumper, and engine miss. We will be selling this bus so I’m not sure we will be repairing it. Bus 6, the small bus, was written up for a step light inoperative and belt squeal, and brakes. Bus 3 was written up for a worn rear SCHOOL BUS sign, we had one on order but it wasn’t here yet, and a scratched mirror. Bus 16 had a broken down seat. The 2001 van was being used, so we will take it to Martensdale on October 25th for its inspection. Verlyn Vos, our inspector, extended a “Thanks” to the Southeast Warren Board for the improvements that have been made over the past year.

Secondary Principal’s report:

1. School Forms – Copies of the new student referral and mid-term forms spoken about at the last board meeting were given to the board members. The students handled the mid-term form very well. Teachers will be using the referral form for discipline concerns.
2. Discipline Files – have been completed for each student and are now being used.
3. ACT Update – The ACT Prep program has been ordered. We will receive five copies to install on our computers for student use. A soon as the programs arrive they will be installed and students will be notified of their availability.
4. Reading Data – Shelley Mitzelfelt and I have been reviewing last year’s ITED and ITBS scores for grades 6 and 7 (present 7th and 8th grades). I have also ordered the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests to administer to grades 7-11. I am anticipating that reading data will be available at the November board meeting. Our preliminary findings are showing that reading must become a priority in improving our achievement scores.
5. Semester Test Exemption Policy – A copy of the proposed Semester Test Exemption Policy was given to board members for discussion and approval. This policy is a result of faculty input at two different faculty meetings and numerous “chats” with students. The Board asked that the policy be included on the November board agenda. Mr. Gladfelter was also directed by the Board to place a copy of the policy in the Warren Pride for parental input.

Intermediate Principal’s report: Cindy Butler presented information on the 4th grade ITBS Reading Comprehension test results. The results show steady improvement over the last three years. On October 1 every student in the Intermediate Center was assessed for reading fluency. Fluency is defined as automatically reading words with no noticeable effort. This is important because fluency indicates reading skills have become so automatic the child can concentrate on the meaning instead of the reading of the words. The results of the fluency scores will also be given to teachers, along with a list of students’ scores. Strategies will be used to increase reading skills. Testing will be done again at the end of the year with hopes of improvement in the test scores.

Primary Principal’s report: Charlotte Weaklend reported on the reading programs in place at the Primary building. The KIDS program has been in place at the kindergarten level for the past twelve years and has been very helpful. The Saxon phonics program was picked up two years ago and is also very helpful. First through third grades have an individualized reading program. Three years ago the PAL program was started, with kids reading to each other and coaching each other. The DBLLS test has been give for the past three years to measure how well the kids are learning phonics.

Charlotte thanked the Board for the opportunity to have one building to supervise instead of two buildings this year. This has allowed her more time to resolve problems such as playground safety issues, spend more time on teacher inservices and be able to cover classrooms more easily.

Consolidated School Improvement Advisory Committee: Rod Fridley reported that there was a large turnout at the last CSIAC meeting. He thanked the Board for appointing community members to attend the meeting. The next CSIAC meeting will be held on November 4th at 7:00 in Milo. The topic of discussion will be raising standards for graduation. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and talk about the semester test policy also.

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

1. September 9, 2002, minutes
2. Financial reports
3. Second reading of Board Policy Series 300, “Administration”

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

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: A copy of the certified enrollment summary was given to board members. This report gives us our official count for generating funds.

Last year our total enrollment of students provided instructional programs by our district (including open enrollment in and tuition in students) was 564.2 students. This year we are down by 3.9 students to 560.3 students. We have 535.6 resident students served in the district this year, down from 550.2 last year.

Open enrollment out students have increased. Last year we had 47.6 students out; this year we have 50.6 students open enrolled out, primarily to Indianola. I believe the increase is from new families who moved into our district, but never planned on attending school here.

Open enrollment in students have also increased. Last year we had 12 students in; this year we have 23 students open enrolled in to our district. This gives us a better balance than last year, but there is still room for improvement.

EXTENSION OF SUPERINTENDENT’S CONTRACT: Paul Mead related to the Board that he was opposed to a multi-year contract for any administrator.

Don Mitchell asked when the current contract was up (June 30, 2004) and wondered why the rush to increase the length of the contract by another year?

Tammi Hall related that she thought it was a little early in the superintendent’s contract to approve an extension. She would like the budget expenses and revenues reviewed before making a decision.

The Board related that Dr. Garton had been give goals by the Board to meet, which she has. An evaluation of the superintendent was held at the last board meeting. Due to time constraints, the approval of an extension of her contract was not an agenda item until this month.

Motion by Smith, seconded by Farley to approve a one-year extension of the Superintendent’s contract. Ayes: Smith, Farley, Davis and Judkins. Nays: Miller. Miller expressed her concern that due to budget constraints, consideration may have to be given to sharing a superintendent or teachers with other districts.

CERTIFIED ANNUAL REPORT: Julie Wilson gave a brief review of the Certified Annual Report for the period ending June 30, 2002. Motion by Smith, seconded by Miller to accept the Certified Annual Report. Ayes: 5.


SCHOOL ELECTION RESULTS: Julie Wilson presented the official results of the school election as canvassed by the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

Lacona Liberty Milo Absentee Total
Precinct Precinct Precinct Precinct
Director District 1
Greg Davis 30 14 188 10 242
Write-In/Ron Miller 136 97 71 4 308
Write-In/Scattering 5 8 13

Director District 3
Gerald Judkins 41 15 194 10 260
Write-In/John Burrell 127 92 73 1 293
Write-In/Scattering 1 1 3 5

Ron Miller was the winner in Director District 1, however, since he does not live in the director district, the seat is considered vacant. John Burrell was declared the winner in Director District 3.

President Judkins adjourned the meeting at 9:14 p.m.

The board recessed from 9:14 p.m. to 9:24 p.m.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

The Organizational Meeting of the Southeast Warren Board of Education was called to order at 9:24 p.m. by Board Secretary Julie Wilson. The following board members were present: John Burrell, Kevin Smith, Tom Farley and Debbie Miller. Secondary Principal Terry Gladfelter, Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend and Intermediate Principal Cindy Butler were also in attendance, along with members of the community.

AGENDA: Motion by Miller, seconded by Smith to approve the agenda. Ayes: 4.

OATH OF OFFICE: Board Secretary Julie Wilson administered the oath of office John Burrell.

ELECT PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT: Board Secretary Julie Wilson called for nominations for President. Miller nominated Smith for President, seconded by Farley. Burrell nominated Miller for President. A roll call vote was taken with Miller, Smith and Farley voting for Smith. Burrell voted for Miller. Smith was elected President.

President Smith called for nominations for Vice-President. Miller nominated Farley. Miller, Smith and Burrell voted aye. Farley abstained from voting. Farley was elected Vice-President.

Board Secretary Julie Wilson administered the oath of office for President to Kevin Smith and for Vice-President to Tom Farley.

VACANT BOARD POSITION: A petition was received with 150 signatures requesting the appointment of Jennifer Birchette to fill the school board vacancy for Director District 1. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to appoint Greg Davis to fill the vacancy of Director District 1. Farley, Miller and Smith cast votes for Greg Davis. Burrell cast a vote for Birchette. Greg Davis was appointed to fill the vacancy. Board Secretary Julie Wilson administered the oath of office to Greg Davis.

NEGOTIATION REPRESENTATIVES: President Smith appointed Tom Farley as representative for the certified negotiations and Debbie Miller as representative for the non-certified negotiations.

SBRC REQUEST FOR MODIFIED ALLOWABLE GROWTH: Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the request to the SBRC for modified allowable growth for open enrollment out students not on the previous years’ certified enrollment count for whom tuition will be paid in the current year in the maximum amount allowed. Ayes: 5.

HEARING ON EARLY START DATE FOR THE 2003-2004 SCHOOL YEAR: A hearing was held to allow community members the opportunity to provide input on the early start to the 2003-2004 school year. Several comments were received expressing concern about early dismissal due to the heat at the beginning of the school year. Community members asked that guidelines be adopted and put into place for heat related early outs.

APPROVE EARLY START DATE FOR THE 2003-2004 SCHOOL YEAR: Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the early start date for the 2003-2004 school year. Ayes: 5.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Julie Wilson related that Superintendent Garton had recommended approval of the resignation of Cindi Stickel, teacher, with no penalties, and approval of hiring Brenda Chamberlain, Fall Play Director. Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the personnel changes as presented. Ayes: 5.

EARLY GRADUATION REQUEST: Terry Gladfelter recommended approval of the early graduation request from Trista Humble. Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the early graduation request from Trista Humble. Ayes: 5.

BOARD POLICIES: Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to postpone the review and revision of Board Policy Sections 403 and 409 until next month. Ayes: 5.

OCTOBER BOARD MEMBER TRAINING: The fall 2002 IASB District Meeting is scheduled for October 17th in Chariton. Board members who would like to attend the meeting are to let Julie Wilson know so that reservations can be made.

BOARD GOALS/FORMAT OF AGENDA: Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to discuss the last two agenda items at a work session on November 6th at 7:00 in Liberty Center. Ayes: 5.

President Smith adjourned the meeting at 10:16 p.m.

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