SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
January 12, 2004

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session January 12, 2004, in the technology center of the Junior/Senior High School building. President Burrell called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. The following board members were present: Jennifer Birchette, Chris Hardy, Ron Miller and Chris Wadle. Superintendent John Della Vedova, 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 Birchette, seconded by Wadle to approve the agenda. Ayes: 5.

VISITORS: None

REPORTS:

Transportation Report submitted by Joel Mosher:

1. We are in full swing in winter activities plus extra trips for band and vocal music through the holiday season.

2. All of the cameras are installed and working. It took approximately 4 ½ to 5 hours to install and set the programming for the cameras on each bus.

Primary Principal’s Report submitted by Charlotte Weaklend:

1. Primary teachers are conducting the winter reading tests entitled DIBELS. These individualized tests measure student growth in basic reading skills gained since the last testing completed in early October. These tests are important indicators of areas of strengths and weaknesses in letter naming fluency, initial sound fluency, phoneme segmentation fluency (identifying the “sounds” in a word), nonsense word fluency (sounding out words using basic phonics clues), and oral reading fluency (measuring the speed and accuracy at which students read). These tests help teachers group students for the most efficient instruction in given areas of reading development. Research has shown that the earlier the reading interventions are put into place, the more effective they will be over all. As is the case when children learn to walk or talk, when learning to read each child develops at his or her own pace. The DIBELS testing is just another tool that we use to help each child down the path to reading success at his/her current developmental level, building on his/her immediate level of skill attainment.

2. Much of the regular staff meeting time at the Primary building this year is again being devoted to teacher inservicing, with improved instruction as the goal. Added to our regularly scheduled teacher inservice times throughout the year, information is shared with the teachers that is goal oriented and classroom specific. It is the intention that it will serve to cause teachers to reflect on their present practices and stretch themselves to grow in their professions. We are currently reviewing each of the eight Iowa teaching standards with materials produced by the University of Northern Iowa College of Education that features real classroom examples of how Iowa teachers are using innovative measures to achieve these widely accepted standards that represent good teaching. These materials, along with others including the highly motivational work of Harry Wong and the Primary Program, a birth through age 8 developmentally appropriate program of instruction, that was prepared by the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Area Education Agencies, Head Start - State Collaboration Offices, and the Nebraska Department of Education help to keep our teachers focused on the young child and how best to help each one reach his/her highest potential. Teachers are often asked to share with their colleagues new learnings from workshops that they have attended. Several of our teachers attended the ABC Reading workshop through the AEA last summer, with several follow-up ICN sessions scheduled throughout the school year. Much of this information will be shared with both the Primary and the Intermediate teachers during the January 19th teacher inservice/workday. Primary teachers will also be reviewing their new curriculums on that day and mapping the remainder of the school year to ensure that they are on track to complete what needs to be covered at their grade level this year. Marcia Williams, second grade teacher, and I are scheduled to attend a workshop entitled “Differentiated Instruction” in late January. We will bring that information regarding how to meet the individual needs of all students back to share with the rest of the staff. Professionals’ sharing with fellow professionals is how we all grow and become the best that we can be.

3. We are excited about a couple of opportunities coming up to help us promote reading achievement in the elementary schools. One is the Ronald McDonald assembly that is being presented in the Intermediate gym beginning at 10:00 a.m. on January 20th. This presentation is free of charge to the district. The other is a second family reading night being sponsored by our own Partners in Education. This “Cat in the Hat” bedtime story themed party is a follow-up to last September’s “camping out with a good book” themed party that was overwhelmingly attended by students, parents, and teachers. We literally filled the multi-purpose room that evening with many families spilling out into the hallways. At these family reading events, participants do what they enjoy most - reading! School board members and community members are encouraged to attend, borrow a student from their parent for a short time, and listen to the youngster read. The only requirement is that you dress casually - preferably in your pajamas - and be prepared to enjoy yourself.

4. Africa is the spot in the world that we will be celebrating during our annual building-wide Friendship Fair study during the weeks of February 16th and 23rd. If you have any memorabilia or knowledge of that fascinating continent, please consider sharing them with us during that special time. The students will be presenting their learnings at the Friendship Fair program on February 27th in the Primary multi-purpose room.

Intermediate Principal’s Report submitted by Cindy Butler:

1. The 6th grade ELP class is implementing a paper recycling program at the Intermediate Center. We have received totes from the Iowa Recycling Association for each classroom. The ELP students, as part of a service learning project, will be responsible for educating students and staff about the recycling program and collecting the paper in a central location.

2. For the last month, one high school student has occasionally been able to come to the Intermediate Center and work with our students. After second semester begins, we hope to have two additional high school students on a more regular basis. The teachers and students really appreciate the assistance these students provide.

3. The video cameras are installed on the buses. I have viewed tapes and together with Joel have issued detentions to several students for the behavior we observed on the tapes. We expect behavior to improve.

4. Staff members from the AEA are coming to conduct focus groups on Jan. 8th and 12th. The purpose is to gather from studennts, staff, parents, and board members perception information regarding our school district and its performance. The AEA will consolidate the information and present it to the administrators and Children First Forum members. With this information and
assessment data, we will begin to write our Continuous School Improvement Plan which is due in September.

5. Thursday, Jan. 20th, will be the annual Geography Bee/Social Studies Night at the Intermediate Center. In addition to the Geography Bee competition, social studies projects will be on display and 5th grade students will present two readings about early America.

Secondary Principal’s Report submitted by Terry Gladfelter:

1. Golden Apple Award – Special congratulations to Ron Van Strien for being the recipient of a “Golden apple Award.” Channel 13 came on campus December 16th to make the presentation and gather film for the TV spot. The Channel 13 crew was very complimentary on the behavior of our students at the assembly. The Record Herald came and did a story on Mr. Van Strien January 7th. That story will be in the January 14th Record Herald. All of this came about because of the essay submitted by senior, Jackie Swim on behalf of Mr. Van Strien.

2. Technology – We have set up a dedicated server for student computer folders. Students will have their account to store any computer-generated material throughout their high school career. Students can print about anything they have on the account and teachers can access the account for viewing or grading purposes. Having all students on a dedicated server will also help make the rest of our network more secure.

3. Lunch Accounts – Since the beginning of the year the following has been implemented to help parents understand their student’s lunch account.
· Every parent can access their account through the school website. All that is needed is a password provided by the parent and availability of the account is immediate.
· Once an account gets close to zero or a negative balance, students are reminded daily of the account status.
· Once an account goes below $3.00 no charging beyond the school lunch is allowed.
· A note is sent home when a negative balance of $10.00 is reached.
· At that time Mrs. Jensen also calls or e-mails the parent to inform them of the deficit.

Mrs. Jensen has been very proactive in keeping accounts current. Throughout this year we have averaged less than $350 in deficit accounts district-wide. Last year deficit accounts were close to $4000.00. I am pleased with the marked improvement in this area from last year.

4. Football sportsmanship ratings – I received from the Iowa High School Athletic Association our football rating for the 2003 season. Our ratings are based on 38 returned responses from the referees. The chart below shows the state averages and our scores.

  Top 10% Average Bottom 10% SEW
Coaches 1.02-1.13 1.48 1.98-2.88 2.26
Players 1.00-1.08 1.35 1.68-2.51 2.08
Spectators 1.00-1.11 1.40 1.78-2.85 2.18


Children First Forum – Jennifer Birchette reported that the Children First Forum completed the Needs Assessment this month during their meeting time.

Athletic Boosters – Ron Miller reported that the Pee Wee Wrestling Tournament was held last weekend with 210 registered for the event.

Fine Arts Boosters – Jennifer Birchette reported that preparations are underway for FAN Night (previously called FAB Night) to be held in February.

Local Option Sales Tax – The vote for the Local Option Sales Tax will be held tomorrow (January 13th).

CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were on the consent agenda:
1. December 8, 2003, and January 6, 2004, minutes
2. Financial reports
3. Second reading of Board Policy 403.5 and 403.5E, “Early Retirement Benefits”

Motion by Miller, seconded by Hardy to approve the items on the consent agenda. Ayes: 4. John Burrell abstained from voting.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Superintendent Della Vedova related that John Burrell, Jennifer Birchette and himself had met with the Russell Board of Education last Thursday to discuss the possibility of a shared Superintendent. Representatives from the Russell Board of Education are also meeting with the Wayne Board of Education tonight to discuss a shared Superintendent. If the Wayne Board of Education decides to pursue a shared superintendent position with Southeast Warren, a special board meeting will be held on January 26th at 6:00 to continue working out the details of the arrangement. Superintendent Della Vedova requested permission from the Board to place an ad in the paper for a part-time superintendent if things fall apart with the Wayne Community School District. The consensus of the Board was to share a superintendent with the Wayne Community School District, but if things fall apart, the superintendent has permission to advertise for a part-time superintendent.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Secondary Principal Terry Gladfelter recommended accepting Emily Layton’s resignation as Language Arts teacher (late resignation fee of $200 will apply). Emily will continue to coach the Adrenaline Dance Team and Southeast Warren Color Guard through the Spring Showcase in March. She will also help with the Student Publications class until another teacher is hired and ready to take over. Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to accept Emily Layton’s resignation. Ayes: 5.

RECONSIDERATION COMMITTEE: Motion by Chris Hardy, seconded by Ron Miller to approve the Reconsideration Committee membership as presented. Ayes: 5.

INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT: Motion by Chris Wadle, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve continuation of the Interim Superintendent contact with John Della Vedova until the end of May, 2004. Ayes: 5.

TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR POSITION: Superintendent John Della Vedova recommended extending the Transportation Director contract for the second semester. Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve the contract for Transportation Director for the second semester at an annual salary of $18,000 based on 24 hours per week, additional hours require preapproval of the Superintendent and will be paid at $16.00/hour. Ayes: 5.

BOARD POLICY 1004.1R: The Board reviewed Board Policy 1004.1R, “Fees for School Use.” No action was taken.

BOARD POLICY SECTIONS 504 AND 505: Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve the review of Board Policy Section 504, “Student Health and Safety Regulations” and Section 505, “Miscellaneous Related Matters.” Ayes: 5.

President John Burrell adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.

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