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SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2002

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session December 10, 2002, in the media center of the junior/senior high attendance center. President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 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: Motion by Davis, seconded by Farley to approve the agenda as presented. Ayes: 5.

VISITORS: Superintendent Susan Garton gave recognition to the principals who are undergoing training to become licensed evaluators. The training, mandated by the Department of Education, requires all administrators to undergo ten days of training. In order to avoid the absence of all principals at the same time, the principals have rotated training dates, which meant traveling to different areas of the state. This was a tremendous achievement to accomplish. Mrs. Weaklend has completed nine of the ten training sessions. She has been an outstanding leader in the “No Child Left Behind” program. Mrs. Butler has completed all ten training sessions and is now a licensed evaluator. She has restructured and implemented innovative changes in the sixth grade. Mr. Gladfelter will complete the training next semester. He has instituted a dress code, accepted the challenge of controversial issues and is very visible to the students.

REPORTS:

Transportation
1. Two new bus drivers will be available for substitution.
2. The wheelchair lift will be put in service to accommodate a handicapped student.

Elementary Principal:
1. The Milo Fire Department used the Primary media center for Firefighter I classes on November 17th, 18th, 24th, and 25th, and December 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th. They have indicated an interest in holding future classes in our facility.
2. The multi-purpose room was used by the Milo Quilters’group on December 7th during Milo’s Small Town Country Christmas. The Partners’ in Education held a book fair that was open to the public in the media center during the morning of the same day, as well as a cookie walk in the Milo Public Library. The High School ECP group held a baby-sitting clinic in the Sunrise Sunset Daycare building all day on the seventh.
3. The Southeast Warren Primary is currently involved in collecting instant pudding and jello for the local food drive. We are also collecting gifts for local needy families in coordination with the high school art club. Children providing a gift for this project place a special angel decoration on our “giving tree”, the decorated tree in the foyer by the office. We have linked both of these projects with our “caring” character education theme for the months of November and December. In addition, the children are being recognized for individual acts of caring during our opening sessions each morning.
4. Elementary report cards for the second quarter will be going home with the students on the last day of the first semester, December 20th.
5. Last month I reported about the reading program in our building. As a follow up to that report, we are awarding two or three awards daily during our morning opening to 2nd and 3rd graders attaining the next level of the Accelerated Reader program. In addition, I have promised to wear a green wig (the students’ choice of color) at school on the 20th of this month if all of the classes have met their individual class reading goal for the 2nd quarter. Reading is fun!

Intermediate Principal’s report:
1. Mid term reports went home on Friday, November 22nd. Every 4-6th grade student receives a copy of his/her grades in all the academic classes at this time. The fifth grade class is doing very well academically!
2. On November 25th, Wendy Robison from the AEA came and presented instructional strategies for reading accuracy and fluency to all the teachers and aides. We will follow up with discussions at staff meetings. Teachers have a list of students who performed less than proficient in reading fluency. They have been working with these students and this presentation gave them more strategies to use.
3. The Intermediate students and staff are participating in the high school art club’s holiday project of an angel tree.
4. The book fair is currently going on in our building. I sent a note home to parents letting them know we would open at a time convenient for them if they called the office. No one has called.
5. Christmas activities will include the music program on December 9th and a performance by the Missoula Children’s Theatre on December 12th. The theatre group will present an interactive program where students will participate in scenes and musical numbers. Fourth grade students will attend the Nutcracker Ballet in Des Moines on the 13th. Homerooms will limit classroom celebrations to Friday afternoon before break.

Secondary Principal’s Report:
1. Semester Exams – I have spoken to many students since the last board meeting and it appears that the majority of the students are accepting the new policy. The surprising comment I hear is that there is a good balance and fairness between the grades and attendance. I have met with a volunteer faculty group to work out the details of planning a form for the students and parents, the testing schedule, and how the 7th and 8th grade students will be using the exam days. Teachers have been asked to provide a study guide for all students. I have asked to see the guides and a copy of the test by December 16. Testing will be on the 18th and 19th with make-up work on the 20th. All grades will be submitted by the 20th and report cards will be sent out the same day.
2. WHO Channel 13 Weather Station – On Thursday, December 12 our new weather station will be officially inaugurated with a visit from Channel 13. The station is presently up and running and is located on the southwest corner of the building with the computer monitoring located in the ICN room. The Student Government is to be thanked for the purchase of the station and Mr. Tierney and his students for the installation of the unit. Chopper 13, weather permitting, will be landing at 4:30 on the 12th. Weather will be broadcast live from our gym at 5 and 6 o’clock. Channel 13 will provide Subway and pop for 200 people at 5:30. The chopper will be “open” for inspection. The event would be completed by 6:30 p.m. Please accept this as an invitation to attend.
3. Life Skills Class – Mrs. Vodraska, her aides, and students are to be commended for their excellent meals that have been prepared for the faculty and staff. They have now done this activity twice and both times have impressed us all with the efficiency the students have executed in all aspects of preparation and planning.
4. Senior Citizen Luncheon – Wednesday, December 4th was the annual luncheon for our senior citizens. About 80 guests attended the event. Mr. Tigner is to be congratulated for coordinating the event. The National Honor Society students did an outstanding job in all of their planning and preparation. Our students put forth a lot of individual time and effort. The cafeteria staff prepared an excellent meal and the band and chorus provided some fine entertainment.
5. Technology Update – Because of grant money, some major upgrades are being put in place with our computer system. A new server is being purchased so that all students will have personal accounts for their schoolwork and can be accessed in any class throughout the building. New software is being purchased to better protect the security of the system and some new computers are being purchased through the STAR grant. We are hoping that many of the changes will be taking place by Mr. Tierney over the holiday break.

Board Assignments:
1. Tom Farley, Board Legislative Representative, attended the Iowa Association of School Boards convention held November 21 & 22. He reported that the same two issues resurfaced – i.e.: 1.) State-wide sales tax; and 2.) Overall funding. IASB will continue to pressure the legislature for an increase in allowable growth. Among the workshops he attended were: “Raising the Bar”, “Focus on Reading”, and “Iowa Virtual Academy”. The integration of reading in non-academic areas such as art, music, and physical education was encouraged. Innovative changes were discussed, one of which was to install carpeting in waiting areas to create comfortable places to encourage students to sit and read while waiting for the bus. The ICN, whole-grade sharing, and sharing of Superintendents were also topics discussed.
2. John Burrell, ABLE training and Warren County Conference Board, attended a “No Child Left Behind” training session. The NCLB bill is a bipartisan bill, 12,000 pages in length. It contains the basis for testing grades four, eight, and eleven. Ninety-five percent of students are to be tested. Students are permitted to enroll in another District if their District is not in compliance. The bill is complicated and lengthy. It is expected that many school districts will find compliance difficult.
3. Greg Davis, Board representative to “Children First Forum” Committee, related that the meetings he has attended have been informative, with innovative ideas coming from each session. “Raising the bar” is one of the topics that frequently resurfaces. The question was raised about what to do with the students who finish their work quickly. Perhaps some students are not being challenged enough. Mr. Davis thanked the principals who attended the last meeting and encouraged patrons of the community to sit in on the meetings. The next meeting will be held January 6th, at the Intermediate Center. Proposed topics of discussion are “home work” and “motivation”.
4. Kevin Smith, Board representative to the Athletic Boosters, reported that the Boosters’ have made a $2,500 donation to the Activity Fund. He stressed the need to keep the line of communications open.
5. Debbie Miller, Board representative to the Fine Arts Boosters, Partners In Education, and Non-certified negotiations, reported the following: Members of P.I.E. are busy preparing for the cookie walk to be held in conjunction with the Milo Small Town County Christmas, December 7th. Proceeds will be used to defray the cost for extra field trips and superfluous classroom supplies. At the meeting of December 4th of the Fine Arts Committee, a discussion was held for ways to generate funds. The sale of ice cream has proven to be too costly, sighting the weather and/or small crowds. The Committee would like to begin a campaign to purchase new band uniforms. The question was raised if the band could be included in the seven-year uniform rotation schedule. A discussion was held with regard to raising money by holding games of chance. It would be necessary to purchase a gambling license, at a reported annual cost of $180. The Superintendent interjected that the possibility of purchasing a gambling license has been discussed previously, after receiving a request to hold Bingo. At that time, the board decided not to pursue a gambling license. The first negotiations meeting with the classified staff went well, discussing concerns and areas in need of improvement. The classified negotiations meeting scheduled for December 9th was postponed to allow the District time to generate a comparison of salaries, benefits, and contract language with surrounding school districts.

CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were listed on the Consent Agenda:
1. Approve minutes
2. Approve financial reports
A correction was made to the November financial report. Journal entries made in November were not posted. The journal entries included a transfer from ISJIT to the General Fund, in the amount of $250,000 and state Aide direct-deposited to ISJIT, in the amount of $235,943.37. It is impossible to make a correction once the month-end is closed. The postings will be included in the December records. Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to approve the adjusted financial report and the minutes of November 6th, 11th (Special and Regular), and November 23rd. Ayes: 5.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: A SAI training session, attended by Superintendent Garton regarding Board relations proved to be most helpful. The strategy to get Board members more involved by reporting on the committees that they represent will be utilized. This an excellent means of keeping the patrons of the district informed of the activities of all of the committees, as well as giving the board members the opportunity to actively participate in the governing process. Board procedures will be discussed and determined at a work session to be held January 9, 2002 at the junior/senior high media center.

BOARD POLICY: In discussing Policy Code No. 204.10, “Order of Regular Business Meeting”, it was suggested that “Board Concerns” be added to the agenda. The Board felt the suggestion needed more definition and guidelines and agreed to add it to the agenda for the next work session. The Board expressed no objection to scheduling additional work sessions, perhaps one per quarter. The frequency of the work sessions will be discussed at the meeting of January 9th. Motion by Farley, seconded by Burrell to delay the second reading of Policy 204.10, “Order of Regular Business Meeting”. Ayes: 5.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: The following contracts were submitted for approval: Casey Aldridge, Head Baseball Coach; Joel Voss, Assistant Junior High Boys’ Basketball Coach; and Jim Carr, Assistant Junior High Girls’ Basketball Coach; Rachelle Spence, Daycare worker at $6.35 per hour; and Candy Drone, temporary Food Service supervisor for 50 days at $9.00 per hour. Miller moved to approve the personnel changes as presented, Farley seconded. A lengthy discussion followed.

Clint Bauer addressed the Board on the issue of hiring a temporary lunch supervisor. He expressed surprise that all contracts were grouped together for approval. He felt the District has two valuable, long-term lunch employees at the high school. He also felt that there is a lack of communications between the employees and the superintendent. He questioned if the supervisory lunch position had been advertised. Mr. Bauer has been told that threats had been made to contact the state inspector.

Jennifer Birchette also addressed the Board concerning the lunch program. She questioned if the position had been advertised and the qualifications for the position. She asked who determines the standards and the list of duties? The Board? The State? According to Mrs. Birchette, the cooks have been advised that they are not to work any overtime and will not receive compensatory time. She considered the offer to transfer the cooks to the Intermediate Center a form of harassment. She felt it was asking too much to ask the cooks to make ice cream in addition to serving breakfast and lunch.

The temporary Food Service Supervisor was given a list of five specific areas to address in order to bring the school into compliance with federal guidelines.

The assignment of assistant coaches is addressed in the Master Contract. If an assistant extra-curricular position is not filled, the head coach/sponsor of the activity may receive supplemental pay equal to the percentage of the head and assistant coach/sponsor added together, with approval of the school board.

President Smith related that no one respects the cooks more than the administration and the board of education. He appealed to the complainants to be patient with the Board in trying to resolve the problem.

Superintendent Garton advised the Board that state consultants had found the Junior/Senior High Lunch Program not in compliance with federal guidelines during an August 2001 inspection. The District was given until October 2001 to correct the deficiencies. A three and one-half hour part-time cook position was eliminated due to budget constraints. Union language dictates that this person will be first in line for recall if the position is reinstated. In accordance with Board Policy Code 408.1, the board is authorized to secure someone in a supervisory position. It is not required that a supervisory position be posted. The Superintendent has met with the cooks to emphasize a team approach and to solicit suggestions. Dr. Garton has attempted to follow through with the cooks’ suggestions. In an attempt to reduce the demands of the cooks, she is trying to secure student workers to assist the cooks an hour in the morning and also to run the dishwasher.

Mr. Farley also expressed appreciation to the long-time employees. He observed that the Superintendent is perceived as not listening to the cooks’ suggestions, when in fact they are failing to verbalize their exact concerns. He questioned if there is a way to organize the Lunch Program so that the cooks can feel more responsible and feel heard, and at the same time meet all Lunch Program requirements.

Miller moved, seconded by Farley to withdraw the previous motion to approve the personnel changes.

Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to amend the motion to approve the personnel changes to include the stipulation that the Lunch Program temporary supervisory position will be reviewed and the workload will be determined at the next work session, to be held January 9, 2003. Ayes: Farley, Miller, Davis, and Smith. Nays: Burrell.

CONSIDERATION OF PETITION: A petition to reinstate Computer Applications I course was received at the regular meeting of October 14th. The course had been eliminated due to the lack of funds. Seventh and eight grade students are offered a computer exploratory course during the first semester. Computer Applications I will be offered the second semester, although only a maximum of 16 students can be served. Mr. Burrell felt the District needs to return all of the computer application courses. Mr. Farley acknowledged the importance of the computer courses and would like to reinstate the courses as quickly as possible. Funding is not available at the present time.

BOARD GOALS: The following goals were discussed: 1.) Support efforts for improved student achievement and learning in the specific areas of reading, math, and science, including assessment and evaluation; 2.) Continue to focus on improved communication and relationship with parents, staff, teachers, and community; and 3.) Develop a long-range financial plan.

A Work Session will be held January 9, 2003, at the High School Media Center, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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

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