May 10, 2004

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session May 10, 2004, in the technology center of the Junior/Senior High School building. President John Burrell called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. The following board members were present: Chris Hardy, Jennifer Birchette, 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 Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve the agenda. Ayes: 5.

RECOGNITION: Superintendent John Della Vedova presented a certificate to each board member in recognition of Iowa School Board Recognition Week.


Primary Principal’s Report submitted by Charlotte Weaklend:

Thirty-nine potential kindergartners for the 2004-2005 school year attended our annual Kindergarten Round-up the week of April 26th. Balancing the loss of students from that number whose parents decide to hold their child back another year for additional readiness growth through repeating preschool with the potential of picking up more students from now to August, our beginning kindergarten number for next year could be near or even exceed thirty-nine, ten more than enrolled last fall. In 2002, we had thirty-three students at round-up with twenty-nine enrolled by fall. I am hopeful that our five-year downward trend in kindergarten enrollment is about to rebound and begin to move in a positive direction again.

The third grade completed the second round of the computer-generated MAP tests last week. Initial results indicate positive growth in all areas of reading skills for nearly all of the students.

The most recent Partners in Education fundraiser that was held the week of April 7th, earned that organization nearly $5,000 at both elementary buildings towards the updating of playground equipment.

I am very pleased to announce that the Primary students collected nearly $1400 during their recent math-a-thon with all proceeds going toward research and patient care at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. This was a great service learning project, as well as a fun math review for participating students.

An earlier read-a-thon earned $642 toward classroom equipment for our school. In addition, Warren County Farm Bureau grants written by each of our four kindergarten and first grade teachers this spring, awarded those classrooms agriculturally-related books and machinery models for creative play, valued at $800.

Preschool has already held their annual field trip to the Annett Nature Center. They will be holding their closing program at Parent Day in the city park at 10:00 a.m. on May 14th, with classes winding down on May 19th and 20th.

Kindergarten hosted their annual ABC picnic last Friday, May 7th on the school playground from 12:45 to 2:00 p.m. Following lunch with their parents or significant adult, the kindergartners performed their closing program and then participated in outdoor games with their adult companion.

First grade is planning their field trip to visit historic sites in Pella for May 24th. Second grade will be visiting several points of interest in Des Moines on May 19th, and the third grade will be visiting the Warren County Historical Village on May 21st. Third grade will also visit the Intermediate building on the afternoon of May 13th. Second and third grade will be performing for local senior citizens at the Milo Community Hall the last week of school.

The preschool early childhood special education students will be attending the special mini-olympics at Norwalk on May 17th with the annual field day for K-3 students to be held on May 18th, with kindergarten and 2nd grade students participating from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and first and third grade students participating from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The special outdoor activities will be held on the playground. A rain date of May 20th as been set for field day.

Intermediate Principal’s report submitted by Cindy Butler:

1. The transition to fourth grade is an area of concern identified in the needs assessment conducted in January. Last year the advisory committee (now CFF) discussed the transition extensively. One of the ideas generated during these discussions was implemented last year - the fourth grade teachers prepared a letter for the 3rd graders. The letter is intended to inform the child and parent of 4th grade expectations. We are considering additional suggestions such as a weekly newsletter home and more consistent homework.

2. In April Luann Ohnemus and I attended a data workshop presented by the AEA. The AEA has created a database of our student ITBS/ITED test scores for the past several years. With this information the AEA creates the comparison graphs we need for our Annual Progress Report (APR). This information is also useful as we look at data for our Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) and for documenting improvements. We should be able to include our MAP data in this database and have easy access to that data in addition to ITBS/ITED data.

3. The state will soon assign identification numbers to all Iowa students. The addition of this new ID number will allow us to report test scores for students who complete a full academic year in our school compared to those who move in during the year. In order to prepare for this change we are looking at expanding our student management system into the elementary buildings. Several staff members will attend training in June on effectively managing data for state reporting and for documenting improvements.

4. We are finishing Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). Reports are being generated and will be reviewed by staff at the early out planned for next week. This is our second round of testing and we have been cautioned not to put too much emphasis on these scores until we have completed at least three test sessions.

Secondary Principal’s report submitted by Terry Gladfelter:

Community Service/Spring Games - I would like to congratulate Mr. Ripperger and the members of the Student Council for their organization and leadership in accomplishing this day’s events. Teachers and staff all participated with student groups to clean, polish, pick-up, paint, wash, mow, and generally “spruce up” our communities. The morning started with a canned food drive. We received 579 pounds of canned goods. The morning was spent in community service. Next was a bar-b-q lunch for everyone and then the spring games in the afternoon. There was a class competition with the seniors winning the overall event.

Prom – The junior class and their sponsors did an outstanding job in organizing and decorating for the Jr/Sr Prom. There were many people, too numerous to mention that helped make it a special evening. The students were well behaved and it was an evening enjoyed by all. The After Prom committee also did a great job with their event and many hours of preparation also went into their evening. All of this collaborative work is what truly makes school special for our students.

Teacher appreciation/recognition – This past week was teacher/staff appreciation week. We had breakfast one morning this week and some little gifts for the staff. Our student organizations put together a presentation for the staff with gifts that were given out through a drawing to also show their appreciation.

Sportsmanship – These are our basketball ratings from the state. This was based on 38 ratings from officials throughout the season. Improvement noted in two out of three areas

SEW State Average SEW 03-04 SEW 02-03
Coach 1.42 1.58 1.64
Player 1.38 1.89 2.05
Spectator 1.6 2.53 2.41


D/F list for mid terms as compared to last year

  7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
  F D # F D # F D # F D # F D # F D #
Mid Term 5/03       22 35 22 25 29 21 31 75 31 4 22 14 11 36 19
Mid Term 4/04 11 34 24 14 29 22 14 39 27 20 43 30 6 30 19 1 4 5

School Nurse report submitted by Dianne Butler:

I wanted to inform the Board that Milo Fire and Rescue is donating an AED to the school district. AED stands for automatic external defibrillator. They are used when someone is in cardiac arrest and their heart has stopped beating or beating erratically. Studies have shown that the use of an AED in addition to CPR increases a person’s chance of survival than just CPR alone. This device is really not hard to use and some of them will speak to the user, leading through the steps to apply and use. The AED delivers a shock to the person to get their heart beating again. These units are out in public areas such as shopping malls, stadiums, etc. as well as on fire and rescue units. An AED easily costs $3000.00 or more and we are lucky to have one donated to us. Sheila Coffman of Milo Fire and Rescue contacted me about us receiving their current AED as they had applied for a grant to get another one. The unit we are receiving is less than a year old. Sheila and I decided it should be kept in the high school building due to the longer rescue response time and all the public events held here in the high school building. The AED will be mounted in a glass case on the wall near a gym entrance. I will be responsible for the monthly checking of the batteries. Sheila has contacted Lacona Fire and Rescue and notified them of the AED here in the building, as that is who responds to calls at the high school. Sheila said they wouldn’t receive their new AED until sometime in May so ours should be in place when school starts in August. I will have Sheila train the administrators and the AD on use of the AED. AED training is also part of CPR training now so if anyone has current CPR training they should be familiar with an AED. Please contact Sheila Coffman or myself with any questions or concerns. Sheila said that using an AED in an emergency Situation is the same as performing CPR on someone in that you are protected by the Good Samaritan Law.

Update on Sale of Lagoon: John Burrell reported that the money for the purchase of the lagoon is not available from the USDA at this time. The survey has been completed. The county will need to purchase an additional 100 feet of ground beyond the fence line. The cost of the survey was $2,900, which will be deducted from the sale price of the lagoon. The county attorney will write up the sales agreement. The lagoon will remain the responsibility of the district until money changes hands.

Children First Forum: Jennifer Birchette related to the Board that the Children’s First Forum had met on Monday, May 3rd. Lori Nutting presented the plan for Title I and explained how it is used in Milo. The CSIP goals were reviewed and revised for Board approval. Information was shared on 4th, 8th and 11th grade ITBS results in reading and math. The group discussed how to get students to take the tests seriously and how to get them to change their minds to do well academically. The next meeting will be held Monday, August 30th in Liberty Center at 7:00 p.m.

Fine Arts Boosters: Jennifer Birchette reported that Donna Clay had been elected as President of the Fine Arts Boosters. A membership drive will be conducted at the start of the new school year.

CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were on the consent agenda:
1. April 12, 2004 minutes
2. Financial reports
3. Second reading of Board Policy Section 601.3, “School Day”

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

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Superintendent John Della Vedova related to the Board that negotiations had been settled with the certified staff at 4.28%. The Board scheduled a special board meeting for May 13th at 4:30 to approve the 2004-2005 contract with the Southeast Warren Education Association.

Superintendent John Della Vedova also related to the Board that the architect’s fees for the Lacona project are going to exceed the contracted amount of $4,900. The total fees to date are $7,569.16. A typical architect fee for a project is 9% to 10% of the total project cost.

CSIP GOALS: District Student Learning Goals for the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, developed by Children First Forum:
· Academic and technological skills to be problem solvers and life long learners
· Skills and habits necessary to lead healthy lives and provide positive contributions to society
· Effective communication skills
· An understanding of individual and societal contributions to a global culture

District Long-Range Goals, developed by the District Leadership Team:
· All K-12 students will achieve at high levels in reading comprehension, prepared for success beyond high school.
· All K-12 students will achieve at high levels in mathematics, prepared for success beyond high school.
· All K-12 students will achieve at high levels in science, prepared for success beyond high school.
· All K-12 students will achieve at high levels in communication, prepared for success beyond high school.
· All K-12 students will learn technology skills for academic and practical applications in life.
· All students will feel safe at and connected to school.

Motion by Jennifer Birchette, seconded by Ron Miller to approve the goals for the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. Ayes: 5.

INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT: Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve a contract with Carl Reno as interim superintendent until the candidate of choice is available. Ayes: 5.

HEARING FOR LACONA GYMNASIUM EXTERIOR MODIFICATIONS: A hearing was held concerning the Lacona gymnasium exterior modifications. One bid was received for the project from Hooyer Construction, Inc. in the amount of $120,000 plus $13,000 for alternate bids for a total of $133,000. The amount of the grant received for the project is $96,609. The consensus of the Board was to reject the bid and have the architect revisit the specifications to see where costs could be cut to be more in line with the amount of the grant. Further action on the Lacona gymnasium exterior modifications was tabled until the next board meeting.

POTENTIAL GRADUATES: Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve the list of potential graduates as presented. Ayes: 5.

PRESCHOOL FEES: Charlotte Weaklend recommended increasing the preschool fees for 2004-2005 by $10 per month to $56 per month, which would still keep our tuition rates $9 per month under that of Calvary’s Kids and the Indianola Preschool. Motion by Chris Wadle, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve the increase in preschool fees as specified. Ayes: 5.

PURCHASE OF SCHOOL BUS: Bus bids were received from Thomas Bus Sales, Hougland Bus Company, Inc. and School Bus Sales. All three bids were comparable and met the specifications. The specifications also requested a price for tinted windows on the entire bus and strobe lights in the stop arm. The low bid, including the options, was received from Thomas Bus Sales. Joel Mosher recommended purchasing a bus from Thomas Bus Sales for the base price of $58,397 plus the two additional options for a total price of $58,705.

Julie Wilson related to the Board that financing is available for the purchase of the bus if necessary, depending on the receipt of the local option sales tax dollars. Financing could be arranged with $15,000 paid upon delivery and the balance financed for one year at 4.17%.

Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve the purchase of the school bus as per Joel’s recommendation and to approve financing the bus as per Julie’s figures if necessary. Ayes: 5.

ATHLETIC BOOSTERS REQUEST: Chuck Jones related to the Board that the infield of the baseball field needs to be resurfaced at an approximate cost of $2,000. Coach Aldridge will apply $1,000 from the sign advertising toward the cost of resurfacing. The Athletic Boosters are seeking the school’s assistance in allocating the balance. Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve $500 towards improvements of the baseball infield. Ayes: 5.

UPDATES TO PROPANE PLANT: Terry Gladfelter related to the Board that Country Propane had submitted proposals to update the propane plant at the high school and to perform a complete gas systems check. The items in the proposals are required due to mandates that have been established due to new federal regulations. The total for the complete gas systems check is $1,200. For every year after the complete systems check there will be a systems leak check required at an approximate cost of $300. A proposal to bring the propane plant into compliance was submitted in the amount of $5,359.22. Country Propane will not be able to supply the propane unless the systems check and updates are completed. The consensus of the Board was to have Country Propane present further information on the propane plant update at the June board meeting. The proposal for the update was not accepted due to competitive bids being required for any purchase over $5,000. Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve the $1,200 proposal for the complete gas systems check and $300 for the annual systems leak check. Ayes: 5.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: A resignation was received from Joel Vos, HS Language Arts, Cross Country Coach, JH Boys’ Basketball Coach, Yearbook/Newsletter Advisor and Junior Class Advisor. Motion by Chris Hardy, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve the resignation of Joel Vos. Ayes: 5.

Charlotte Weaklend related to the Board that due to realignment of current teaching assignments funds were available to hire a full-time teacher at Milo and a half-time teacher at Lacona. In Milo, the current KIDS instructor will fill a vacancy due to a resignation in the ECSE program. The KIDS program will be reduced to a half time position, funded with At-Risk funds. The remainder of this position’s time could be filled with the half-time class-size reduction grant dollars. This half-time position allows for smaller reading groups in the first, second, and third grades.

In Lacona, a half-time reading position would be created to work directly with the classroom teacher offering ideas and support, as well as working with students who need additional assistance. This position would be paid for from At-Risk funds.

Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve hiring the new positions as per Charlotte’s explanation. Ayes: 5.

AFSCME COUNCIL 61 CONTRACT: Superintendent John Della Vedova related to the Board that an agreement had been reached with AFSCME Council 61 for a 4.05% package with a cost of $26,953.10. Motion by Chris Wadle, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve the contract with AFSCME Council 61. Ayes: 5.

2004-2005 SALARIES FOR NON-UNION EMPLOYEES: Superintendent John Della Vedova recommended a 4.05% package increase for Lu Ann Ohnemus (12 month contract), Julie Wilson (12 month contract), Charlotte Weaklend (225 day contract), Cindy Butler (225 day contract), Terry Gladfelter (220 day contract), Mike Tierney (220 day contract), Joel Mosher (12 month contract), and Connie Fridley (12 month contract). In addition Superintendent John Della Vedova recommended that the $500 per month stipend to Julie Wilson, Charlotte Weaklend and Cindy Butler be reduced by $250 because of the additional time of the part time superintendent. The stipend to Terry Gladfelter be reduced by $200 per month for the same reason. The less reduction than the others would be for the weather decisions. Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve the salaries as stated and review the stipends at the end of the first semester after the new superintendent is hired. Ayes: 5.

BOARD POLICY 805.6: Julie Wilson recommended approval of Board Policy 805.6, “General Fixed Assets/Capital Assets” to address the change in financial accounting requirements. Motion by Chris Hardy, seconded by Ron Miller to approve the first reading of Board Policy 805.6. Ayes: 5.

BOARD POLICY 1006.3: The Board discussed Board Policy 1006.3, “Public Conduct on School Premises”. It was suggested to have parents sign a copy of the policy in the fall before students are allowed to participate in activities. Motion by Ron Miller, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve the revision of Board Policy 1006.3 with additional revisions to be brought back at the time of the second reading. Ayes: 5.

BOARD POLICY SECTIONS 603, 604 AND 605: Motion by Chris Wadle, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to approve the review of Board Policy Sections 603, “Instructional Arrangements,” 604, “Services,” and 605, “Pupil Progress.” Ayes: 5.

President Burrell adjourned the meeting at 10:02 p.m.

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