SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
JULY 14, 2003

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session July 14, 2003, in the cafeteria of the Junior/Senior High School building. President Smith called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. The following board members were present: Tom Farley, Greg Davis, John Burrell and Debbie Miller. Secondary Principal Terry Gladfelter, Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend, Intermediate Principal Cindy Butler, Superintendent Susan Garton and Board Secretary Julie Wilson were in attendance, along with members of the community.

AGENDA: Motion by Davis, seconded by Miller to approve the agenda. Ayes: 5.

VISITORS: Patty Marshall presented information to the Board on a proposed ECP Study Night. The study night would be held on Thursday nights from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the high school cafeteria for students in grades 7-12. Students will have tutors and teachers available to help with their studies. The goal is to bring grades and test scores up to a higher level. The Board will look at this item at the August board meeting.

Kevin Smith presented a plaque to Superintendent Garton in recognition of her dedication to the Southeast Warren Community School District.

REPORTS:

Transportation report:

We have begun preparations for the new school year. One thing we are looking into is adding a new route. This will shorten the length of time kids spend on all the routes. I am in the process of trying to establish this route and hope to have it done by registration time.

There wasn’t much in the way of expenses this month, but we had a few things to repair on the Driver’s Education vehicles. We used two different vehicles plus our Windstar. Everything seemed to go very well.

The total mileage for all of the school buses this year was 114,561 miles.

Secondary Principal’s report:

Gates-Macginitie Reading Test – The test was administered to the seventh grade class at the end of the school year. We wanted to see what results the reading program produced. The overall raw scores showed a significant increase. We also showed a gain of 5 students reading at the seventh grade reading level or higher. That computes to a 12.5% gain in that area, a significant increase. Mrs. Mitzelfelt and Ms. Chamberlain are to be acknowledged for their work with our students in reading and reading strategies.

Jr./Sr. High Handbook – There has been a significant re-write in the first 8 pages of the handbook. I’ve consolidated several areas and added a “Students Rights and Responsibilities” section for “Attendance, Dress Code, and Respect for Persons and Property.” I’ve added the new Good Conduct Rule and Semester Test Policy. The remainder of the handbook has remained basically unchanged from last year.

Special Education Plan – The plan has been reviewed by the AEA and is ready for Board approval.

Legislative report - The Warren County Superintendents will hold a meeting with representatives from each school board in Warren County to discuss and possibly plan for a countywide vote on a sales tax for school infrastructure. The meeting will be held on August 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the Indianola Administration Building, Board Room. This is an informational meeting. Tom Narak will host the meeting to encourage all Warren County schools to support joining the statewide pool. He will provide an overview of legislative action and an update on the suit filed by school districts.

Warren County Conference Board – John Burrell reported that he had attended the Warren County Conference Board meeting on June 18th. Items of discussion included the budget and revenues, new legislation and the affects it will have on the office and unintended complications it will create, and forming a liaison committee to meet with the Assessor on a monthly basis.

CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were on the consent agenda:
1. June 9 and June 16, 2003 minutes
2. Financial reports

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

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Superintendent Garton presented information concerning the budget and fiscal planning. The 2002-2003 budget shows improvement in expenditures over the prior year. Some of the factors for the improvement in the budget include the Lunch Fund not being carried by the General Fund anymore and careful control of the budget by the three principals and Transportation Director.

Areas to watch in the budget that could be cause for concern in the future are the number of students open enrolled out, the cost of utilities and the negotiated packages for certified and support staff.

During the 2002-2003 school year a total of $59,296 was spent on staff development from Phase III funds, Eisenhower Grant, Success 4 Grant, Title II, Title V, Reap Grant, Drug Free Grant, and At-Risk funds. The Phase III funds, Eisenhower Grant and Success 4 Grant have been discontinued for the 2003-2004 school year which will decrease the amount of money available for staff development significantly.

Financial targets for the district: $90,000 Activity Fund investment capital; $650,000 cash balance in the General Fund for a target Solvency Ratio of 5%; $250,000 in revenues for the Lunch Fund (up from $205,000 for the 2002-2003 school year); reduce teaching staff by 2.0 FTE; reassign staff for professional efficiency; monitor open enrollment out; bring academics up to standards; and consider PERL Levy to fund adult education and recreational equipment.

DISPOSITION OF OLD SCHOOL HOUSE: Discussion was held concerning the cost to have the old school house inspected for asbestos and renovation costs. Terry Gladfelter related to the Board that a Liberty Center resident had indicated an interest in moving the building from the schools’ property to use as a garage. Motion by Miller to allow the Liberty Center resident interested in the building to move it as is. Motion died for lack of a second. Motion by Davis, seconded by Farley to notify the public to see how many people are interested in the old school house and accept the highest bid if more than one person is interested. Ayes: 5.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Superintendent Garton recommended accepting the resignation of Mark Putz, Transportation Supervisor, effective August 30th. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to accept the resignation with regret and appreciation. Ayes: 5.

Superintendent Garton recommended accepting the resignation of Carmen Neer, one-on-one aid. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to accept the resignation. Ayes: 5.

Superintendent Garton recommended approval of hiring Kari Borlaug, Special Education teacher, dependent upon Kari’s securing conditional endorsement for special education from the Department of Education. Motion by Farley, seconded by Burrell to approve hiring Kari Borlaug contingent upon securing the conditional endorsement for special education. Ayes: 5.

Terry Gladfelter related that Shelly Mitzelfelt would transfer to the Life Skills Program, which leaves an opening for a junior high special education instructor. Mr. Gladfelter recommended hiring Matt Oliver for the junior high special education position contingent upon certification for special education. Motion by Farley, seconded by Davis to approve hiring Matt Oliver contingent upon certification in special education. Ayes: 5.

Terry Gladfelter recommended hiring Debra Sage for the Science/Biology position. Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve hiring Debra Sage. Ayes: 5.

Superintendent Garton related to the board that a half time position of a juvenile court liaison for schools might be available for next fall. The cost to the district would run about $9,000, which could be paid from At- Risk funds. The Board asked for more information and research on this item before making a decision. Motion by Burrell, seconded by Farley to table this item until next month. Ayes: 5.

MASTER CONTRACT: Motion by Farley, seconded by Burrell to approve the Master Contract with the Education Association. Ayes: 5. The cost of the negotiated package was $80,359.82, a 3.93% package increase.

DISTRICT CONTRIBUTION FOR HEALTH INSURANCE: The Board discussed increasing the district contribution for health insurance for support staff to match the negotiated increase the certified staff received. The certified staff received an increase of $25, from $230 to $255. The cost of an increase in the district contribution for health insurance for the support staff would be $4,800. Motion by Miller, seconded by Farley to provide non-certified staff with the same health insurance benefits that the certified staff received. Ayes: Miller, Farley, Burrell, Davis. Nays: Smith. Motion passed 4:1.

CONTRACTS FOR PRINCIPALS: Motion by Davis, seconded by Farley to approve the principal’s contracts at their current 2002-2003 salary for the 2003-2004 school year. Ayes: 5.

SUNRISE SUNSET CHILD CARE HANDBOOK: Motion by Miller, seconded by Davis to approve the Sunrise Sunset Child Care Handbook. Ayes: 5.

STUDENT HANDBOOKS: Motion by Davis, seconded by Miller to approve the Primary, Intermediate, Secondary and District student handbooks. Ayes: 5.

DISTRICT –WIDE INFRASTRUCTURE & FACILITIES PLAN: The Board discussed the District-Wide Infrastructure and Facilities Plan, 2003 Revision. Motion by Farley, seconded by Davis to approve the District-Wide Infrastructure and Facilities Plan with the addition of remodel bus barn interior in 2004 and air conditioning for Lacona and Milo in 2005. Ayes: 5.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION PRIORITIES: Motion by Farley, seconded by Miller to adopt the following resolutions as their top five Legislative Action Priorities for 2004. Ayes: 5.

Supports state funding and legislation to address funding inequities existing in the local option sales and services tax, property tax, and other sources of revenue dedicated for school infrastructure.

Supports setting allowable growth at a rate that encourages continuous school improvement and reflects actual cost increases experienced by school districts. Allowable growth for FY 2003-04 should be maintained at the 2.0 percent already committed and allowable growth for FY 2004-05 should be set no lower than 4.0 percent.

Supports the statewide financial commitment including but not limited to:
· Early childhood initiatives, including reading instruction/class size,
· Community empowerment areas for instruction of preschool children,
· Excellence in Education program, Phases I, II, and III,
· School Infrastructure grants through the Vision Iowa program,
· State technology grants of at least $30 million for school districts.

Supports continuing the budget guarantee for districts with declining enrollment and on-time funding for districts with increasing enrollment.

Supports predictable and timely state funding for serving special education students at a level that reflects the actual cost, including education programming and health care costs.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION NETWORK MEMBER: Motion by Davis, seconded by Farley to table this item until after the September election. Ayes: 5.

CONTRACT WITH INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: Motion by Farley, seconded by Davis to approve the contract with Institute for Environmental Assessment with option 3. After discussion of the contract, Farley withdrew his motion and Davis withdrew his second. The Board directed the school nurse to review the contract for clarification and to check on the possibility of contracting with an Iowa firm to do our asbestos inspections.

SPECIAL EDUCATION PLAN: Motion by Burrell, seconded by Farley to approve the implementation of the Special Education Plan as written. Ayes: 5.

RESIGNATION OF BOARD MEMBER: Debbie Miller submitted her resignation as school board member. Debbie will continue to serve as a board member until the September 2003 election. Motion by Farley, seconded by Davis to accept Debbie Miller’s resignation from the school board with regret. Ayes: 4. Miller abstained from voting.

The board dismissed for a recess at 10:05 p.m. The Board reconvened at 10:25 p.m.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH: The board discussed options for the superintendent search. Melcher-Dallas is interested in sharing a superintendent effective with the 2004-2005 school year, or possibility starting second semester of the 2003-2004 school year. The consensus of the Board was to share a superintendent with Martensdale-St. Marys for the 2003-2004 school year if the Martensdale-St. Marys School Board approves the sharing agreement at their board meeting on Tuesday, July 15th. If Martensdale-St. Marys does not approve a sharing agreement, interviews will be set up to hire an interim superintendent for the 2003-2004 school year.

BOARD POLICY 301.7: The Board reviewed Board Policy 301.7, “Consulting/Outside Employment.” No action was taken.

BOARD POLICY SECTION 400: Motion by Davis, seconded by Burrell to approve the review of Board Policy Section 400, “Statement of Guiding Principles.” Ayes: 5.

President Smith adjourned the meeting at 10:35 p.m.

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