SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
March 8, 2004

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session March 8, 2004, in the technology center of the Junior/Senior High School building. President John Burrell called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. The following board members were present: Jennifer Birchette, Ron Miller, Chris Hardy 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 Chris Wadle, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve the agenda. Ayes: 5.

VISITORS: Bart Butler presented an overview of the work to be done on the Lacona gym using funds from an Iowa Construction Grant. The exterior of the gym will be covered with a metal panel system, the roof on the east side will be repaired, and a canopy and concrete walkway will be added at the cafeteria door. The tentative timeline is to open bids on May 10th, begin construction when school lets out and have the project complete by August 11th.

REPORTS:

Primary Principal’s report submitted by Charlotte Weaklend:

1. Parent-Teacher conference participation rates 2002-2003 2003-2004
November 94% 95%
January 95% 89% (rescheduled)

2. The soccer/character assembly on February 12th that was discussed in last month’s repot was both entertaining and educational for our students. The character t-shirts, a gift from the Peoples Bank, was a big hit with the students and staff. We have designated a day each month for everyone to wear their t-shirts to school.

3. The Cat in the Hat reading night was well attended by kindergarten through third grade students and their parents. A special thank you to Rachelle Spence and Tammy Hall for their work in organizing this worthwhile event. We all wore our pj’s and read, read, read!

4. Thirty-five primary students participated in the Adrenaline Dance clinic on the 19th. They performed at the Spring Dance Showcase on the evening of March 6th at the high school. Thanks to sponsor Emily Layton and to Adrenaline team member Courtney Kimzey, as well as the other members of the team who taught at our clinic. The K-3 girls loved it!

5. The Primary students studied the continent of Africa during their annual two-week Friendship Fair study. Thanks to teachers and staff for all of their hard work incorporating this important study of another culture into their regular curriculum. Approximately one hundred and twenty parents and grandparents attended the Friendship Fair program on the afternoon of February 27th. A special thanks to second grade teacher Becky Burgin for chairing the Friendship Fair committee for yet another year. Also, recognition is offered to volunteers Mike Msuya, Father Felix, and Natasha Cooper who met with students to share artifacts and information about Africa.

6. The reorganizational meeting of the Partners in Education group held on the evening of March 1st produced several new members and new officers. The group in attendance that evening is positive about the future of the organization. They extend a heartfelt word of thanks to former members and encourage anyone interested to join them on the first and third Monday’s of each month at alternating elementary sites.

7. The annual Elementary carnival was held at the Primary center on the evening of March 5th. We appreciate the hard work of Partners in Education members, as well as all of the other parent and grandparent volunteers in making this fun evening possible for our youngsters. They had a ball!

8. The Primary teaching staff will meet with the Intermediate staff in Lacona on March 10th to analyze the impact of elementary reading comprehension instruction, review Iowa Teaching Standard #4 – “uses strategies to deliver instruction that meets the multiple needs of students”, and learn new ways to differentiate instruction at the elementary level.

Intermediate Principal’s Report submitted by Cindy Butler:

1. Conferences were scheduled for Feb. 3rd and 5th. The conferences on the 5th were rescheduled for February 19th because of the weather. Seventy-eight percent of our parents were able to attend conferences. This is down from the conferences held earlier this year, but similar to last year.

2. The architect and a structural engineer were on site this week to determine the best way to complete the remodeling of the older section of the building. The architect would like to meet with the Board in the near future to discuss the plans developed.

3. We are pleased with the results achieved from the 4th grade reading intervention. Now we are doing a similar intervention with 6th grade students. We assessed the reading fluency (how quickly a student reads) and their ability to sound out multisyllabic words. Students who performed below expectations are working with Mrs. Ripperger in a reading program designed to improve decoding skills.

4. Mr. Jones, Mrs. Ripperger, Mr. Dicks, Mr. Gladfelter and I continue to meet bimonthly to discuss math strategies learned and used by the teachers. The teachers are going through a program designed to improve math instruction and raise the math test scores of middle school students. Another whole day meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 11. Calculators and an overhead calculator were ordered for each classroom using grant money designated for technology. Students have used the calculators for a variety of math tasks. Students have shown improvement in their performance of daily mental math exercises.

Secondary Principal’s Report submitted by Terry Gladfelter:

1. District Leadership/Curriculum – One teacher from each building, the three principals, and AEA members have been meeting to evaluate test data district wide. The purpose is to look for tends whether positive or negative in what our students are doing academically. This data will help us develop goals for the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) and guide professional development of our staff. The data collected from the ITBS/ITED has show that we need to work on reading comprehension district wide. The data has also shown that mathematically our scores are comparable to the state. We are now looking for scientifically based programs that will improve reading comprehension.

2. Fine Arts Night – I would like to congratulate Ms. Huyette, Mr. VanderLinden, Mrs. Young, and the Fine Arts Boosters for an enjoyable fine arts evening on Saturday, February 28. This year the gym was used instead of the cafeteria. The larger room made the evening much more enjoyable for those having supper and those wanting to come and listen.

3. Junior High Chorus Festival – Our junior high chorus and five other junior high choruses met on Tuesday, March 2 at Martensdale-St. Marys for a festival. They rehearsed for the day and performed a concert in the evening. Tristan Gardner, Ariel Ohnemus, and Wade Young were soloists at the performance.

4. FFA Sub-District Career Development Events – SEW hosted 11 schools on February 12 for this event. Numerous judged events took place in the afternoon and evening. Mr. Dirkx and his students are to be commended for hosting and organizing this event. We had a team that will move on to the district competition at Indianola on March 6. They will be competing in Parliamentary Procedures.

Warren County Conference Board – John Burrell reported that the Warren County Conference Board had met on March 3rd. The main topic of the meeting was the public budget hearing and budget discussion.

Children First Forum – Jennifer Birchette related that the Children First Forum had met on March 1st. The results of the District Needs Assessment was shared with the members in attendance. The group then discussed the lists of strengths and weaknesses. Discussion was held regarding the transitions between 3rd and 4th grades, and 6th and 7th grades.

Fine Arts Boosters – Jennifer Birchette related that profits from FAN night would be split between the band, vocal and art programs. Next year’s FAN Night has been scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd. There is a junior/senior high vocal and band concert this Thursday. On March 13th the Art Club will hold an Art-a-Thon at the high school from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The following items were on the consent agenda:
1. Approve minutes
2. Approve financial reports
3. Approve second reading of Board Policy 1004.1R, “Fees for School Use”
4. Approve second reading of Board Policy 504.13 and 504.13R, “Special Health Services”
5. Approve second reading of Board Policy 802.7, “Gifts, Grants, and Bequests”

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

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Superintendent John Della Vedova reported that he would be meeting with a contractor next Monday to look at possible roof repairs that will be needed in the future. Based on Monday’s meeting a long-range plan can be developed to take care of roofing needs. He has authorized the principals to proceed with the small building projects as discussed at last week’s work session. Negotiations will be held with the support staff and certified staff on Wednesday of this week.

ART CLUB TRIP: Lisa Huyette and several Art Club members presented a power point presentation to the Board on the planned Art Club trip to Chicago. Fifteen students and four chaperones will be going on the trip scheduled for April 16th-18th. Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve the Art Club trip to Chicago. Ayes: 5.

SOCCER AGREEMENT: Motion by Jennifer Birchette, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve the soccer agreement with the Indianola Community School District for 2003-2004. Ayes: 5. Students will be responsible for the $300 participation fee and their own transportation.

2004-2005 BUDGET: Julie Wilson presented the proposed 2004-2005 budget to the Board. The proposed tax rate is $18.02256 per $1,000 assessed valuation, which compares to this year’s tax rate of $18.02316 per $1,000 assessed valuation. Motion by Chris Wadle, seconded by Ron Miller to approve the 2004-2005 budget for publication as presented and set the hearing date for April 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Liberty Center. Ayes: 5.

BUSINESS EDUCATION CLASSROOM: Discussion was held concerning the location of the business education classroom and the need for additional classroom space. Terry Gladfelter related that he would have the faculty look at the master schedule and room assignments during the Wednesday inservice meeting to help come up with ideas for classroom space. Superintendent Della Vedova gave direction to check on the use of the ICN room for classroom space. The Board also suggested looking into dividing the technology center into two classrooms as had been done in previous years.

BOARD POLICIES: Motion by Jennifer Birchette, seconded by Ron Miller to approve the review and revision of Board Policy Section 602, “Programs of Instruction” and the review of Board Policy 505.10, “Graduation Requirements.” Ayes: 5.

The Board took a recess at 8:57 p.m. and reconvened at 9:08 p.m.

CLOSED SESSION: Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Hardy to go into closed session for the purpose of screening the superintendent candidates as authorized by section 21.5(1)(a) of the open meetings law to review or discuss records that are required or authorized to be kept confidential. Ayes: 5. The Board entered closed session at 9:08 p.m.

President John Burrell called the closed session to an end at 9:45 p.m.

Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Wadle to offer the superintendent position to Harold Hulleman at an annual salary of $45,000, to be prorated the first year based on a November 1 start date, plus single health insurance if needed. Ayes: 5. A contract will be offered to Harold Hulleman on August 1st if he chooses to accept employment with a start date of November 1.

President John Burrell adjourned the meeting at 9:52 p.m.

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