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SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2002

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session November 11, 2002, in the media center of the junior/senior high attendance center. President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.. The following board members were present: John Burrell, Greg Davis, Tom Farley, and Debbie Miller. Superintendent Garton, Secondary Principal Terry Gladfelter, Intermediate Principal Cindy Butler, Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend, and Pauline Ripperger, Secretary were in attendance, along with members of the community.

AGENDA: Item 9. “A”, Approve out-of-state trip, was moved to 4. “C” to accommodate the teachers present. Motion by Farley, second by Miller to approve the agenda and the repositioning of item 9. “A”. Ayes: 5.

VISITORS: Mr. VanStrien was present to present the itinerary for a proposed history trip to the southwest region. Mr. VanStrien began the history trips ten years ago, scheduling a trip every-other year. Many students have had the opportunity to visit a number of historical sites. The 2003 historical educational trip will take place during spring break, from March 15 through March 23. Points of interest listed were: Kennedy Memorial, L.B.J. Historical Park, The Alamo, Carlsbad Caverns, Lincoln, White Sands, Cochise Stronghold, Old Tucson Studios, Grand Canyon, and Kit Carson Museum. At the present time 56 students have registered to go on the trip, however that number may decrease when a deposit is required. The total cost to each student is $395. There will be no cost to the District. It was moved by Miller and seconded by Greg to approve the proposed history trip. Ayes: 5

Mr. Vander Weerdt discussed a proposed biology trip to Yellowstone. He feels the trip would provide the opportunity for students to experience firsthand the largest active geothermal area in the world and the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48. Eighteen students have verbally committed to go. The cost to participants is approximately $172.35, which covers hotels and fees. Students will leave Friday, March 14 and return Sunday, March 23. The cost to rent a charter bus was prohibitive. Points of interest are: Little Bighorn Battlefield, Yellowstone National Park, Museum of the Rockies, National Elk Refuse, Grand Teton National Park and Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to approve the biology Yellow Stone educational trip and to permit the use of a school bus. Ayes: 5.

Moved by Davis, seconded by Miller to approve the annual F.F.A. National Convention trip to Kentucky. Ayes: 5

Kelly Hoffman and Derek Hommer reported on the recent FFA National Convention. Eight students and four chaperones made the trip to Kentucky. They visited the John Deere Plant in Moline. They also visited a tobacco farm, and attended various sessions at the National Convention. Approximately 45,000 F.F.A. students attended the convention. Superintendent Garton commended Scott Dirkx, F.F.A. advisor for encouraging students to use their initiative to attain a specific goal. Providing the opportunity to attend the nationals is one more way that Mr. Dirkx demonstrates faith in his students.

Superintendent Garton recognized Angie Koenck, Deanna Smith, Karen Duncan and Renada Crow for completing the certified aide course. The completion of one more course will certify them as a substitute teacher, as well as a para-educator. Superintendent Garton, also recognized Trudy Ernst, Rosemary Bauer, and Doris Gillespie. They each attended a two-day training session in kitchen management. They are all an important part of the school system.

REPORTS:

Transportation:
1. In addition to the regular extra trips, there were two lengthy trips. One bus went to Kentucky to transport F.F.A. students to the National convention and two busses traveled to West Branch to President Herbert Hoover’s library.
2. Bus repairs, as determined by a recent bus inspection have been completed. The paper work has been submitted. Mark has also assisted the Indianola School District in helping to repair four busses.
3. A new special education driver should be certified very shortly. This should aid in special education route timelines.
4. Work is proceeding on a fair scheduling method for extra trips. Drivers have been notified to comply with seat belt laws for preschool students.

Primary Principal: The District has committed to using the reading program of Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). We are in the third year of utilizing this effective and efficient program. Research confirms that the probability of remaining a poor reader at the end of fourth grade, given a child was a poor reader at the end of first grade, was 88%. The probability of remaining an average reader in fourth grade, given an average reading ability in first grade, was 87%. Data from the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 academic years was reviewed and discussed. Concern was expressed that seventh grade special needs students have a problem identifying the parts of a sentence. It will take time to access the problems and to get a solution in place. The best way to address reading problems is to prevent them before they happen. Our goal at Southeast Warren is to have all children reading by the end of first grade.


Intermediate Principal: Science has been added to the assessment and reporting requirements. State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) is the assessment system selected to administer to students. Several Modules of assessments are included so students can be tested as they learn the material of each science standard. The assessment materials are aligned with National Science Standards and should be an accurate assessment of students’ science knowledge and procedural skills.

Secondary Principal: Grades seven through eleven have completed the Gates – MacGinitie Reading Tests. Students were tested on vocabulary and comprehension skills. A chart depicting raw scores and grade levels achieved by each student was reviewed. At first glance, it appears that vocabulary skills are the weaker of the two. Test scores will be studied in detail.

Consolidated School Improvement Advisory Committee: Ron Fridley advised board members that the committee has officially changed their name to Children First Forum. The chairman was pleased to report that 18 people attended the November 4th meeting. Following a discussion, the committee endorsed and recommended acceptance of the Semester Test Policy. “Raising the bar” of graduation requirements was discussed. In checking with other area schools, it appears that Southeast Warren’s graduation requirements are in line with other schools. A recommendation was temporarily deferred. Dr. Garton presented a partial copy of the Annual Progress Report to the committee. Dr. Garton also suggested that possibly our present courses needed to have higher academic expectations. Graduation requirements would not have to be increased. It was also suggested that the master schedule be considered as a tool to help with academic requirements. Mr. Gladfelter was encouraged to take the information from the meeting. He will report back to the committee with suggestions to improve student achievement. The next meeting is December 2nd, at Liberty Center at 7 p.m. The board is welcome to submit ideas for discussion. The minutes from November 4, 2002, Children First Forum were included in the board packets.

CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were on the consent agenda:
1. October 14, 2002 minutes
2. Financial reports
Bills questioned and discussed were: Midwest Fence & Gate Co. and Bureau of Education & Research
Motion by Davis, seconded by Farley to add AWS Convergence Technologies in the amount of $4,315 for a weather station to the November payables list, and to approve the consent agenda items as amended. Ayes: 5.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Superintendent Garton reviewed the 2001-2002 Annual Progress Report. The district met its goal of improved reading scores in 4th grade reading, math and science. The district failed to meets its goal of improvement in 8th grade reading scores, math and science. The district met its goal of improvement in 11th grade reading and science, however, failed to meet its goal of improvement in math. The district must determine a plan of action to correct the deficiencies in 8th grade reading, math, and science and 11th grade math.

BOARD POLICY SECTIONS: 403, CERTIFIED PERSONNEL CONTRACT TERMINATION AND 409, NON-CERTIFIED PERSONNEL CONTRACT TERMINATION: Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the review of Board Policy Section 403.1 through 403.5 and 409.1 through 409.4. Ayes: 5

APPROVE SEMESTER TEST POLICY: The proposed test policy was reviewed and discussed. Concern was expressed regarding resource students who may not carry a 75% average to qualify for text exemption. Could this be one more roadblock or a barrier to success to them? Some students may have a fear of tests and not do well in “test taking”. A semester test is worth 20% toward a grade. A review of the policy after a year was requested. Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the Semester Test Exemption Policy as submitted. Ayes: Davis, Farley, Miller, and Smith. Nays: Burrell.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Motion by Burrell, seconded by Miller to approve the following personnel changes: Bob West, accept resignation, effective 11-22-02; Jason Walter, Head Junior High Wrestling Coach; Scott Dirkx, Assistant Junior High Wrestling Coach; and Joel Vos, Head Junior High Boys’ Basketball Coach. Ayes: 5

APPOINT REPRESENTATIVE TO WARREN COUNTY CONFERENCE BOARD: John Burrell was appointed representative to serve on the Warren County Conference Board.

REVIEW BOARD POLICIES: 202.1, Code of Ethics; 203.8, Conflict of Interest; 204.1 Regular Board Meeting; 204.10, Order of Regular Business Meeting; and 204.11, Grievances; were reviewed by the board. In order to be more accessible to the community, the board has established a practice of rotating meetings every three months to one of the three attendance centers. The board agreed to continue with this practice. It was suggested that an informative brochure be compiled and made available to the public. A proposal was received to put more information on the overhead projector to make it easier for visitors to follow the subject matter. Davis moved, seconded by Miller to approve the first reading to amend Policy Code 204.10 by adding A.) Public in-put, and B.) Show recognition under item four. Ayes: 5

BOARD GOALS: Board goals presented for discussion were: 1.) The district strives to maintain safe and comfortable facilities to support instructional goals. 2.) The district will plan to recruit, train, and retain qualified, talented individuals for teaching and for the support of staff. 3.) The district will strive to maintain at least a $500,000 annual cash reserve. 4.) The district will continue to participate in ISJET and ISCAP as conditions allow the district to profit from participation.

In discussing the first goal the consensus of the board was to make the first goal more specific relating to student achievement. “In the specific areas of reading, math, and science”, was added to the first goal.

Motion by Davis, seconded by Miller to make the #2 goal a first priority and move it to number one. Ayes: 5.

The board would like to incorporate the following to goal #3: Develop a long-range financial plan and strive for self-sustaining Activity and Food Service Funds. The board will continue to discuss and develop the proposed goals.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

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