October 13, 2003

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session October 13, 2003, in the technology center of the Junior/Senior High School building. President Burrell called the meeting to order at 7:00 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 also in attendance, along with members of the community.

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



Transportation report:

1. I have got the bus barn cleaned up and organized to make it useable to do the bus maintenance.
2. I’m in the process of getting the busses and vans ready for the 1st round of inspections on October 28th.
3. Trips are getting filled and a few have been changed to get drivers. The coaches and staff have been very understanding to work with to get through this.
4. I have made numerous phone calls and have information coming on the bus cameras but have not received anything yet.
5. As usual, I am still looking for substitute bus drivers.
6. There were no major repairs, but a few light bulbs and mirrors replaced. I am currently working on getting a transmission for the ’85 Chevy pickup.

Primary Principal’s report:

1. The week of October 6th, Fire Prevention Week, included fire prevention discussions and activities at the Primary building. This was also an ongoing theme in morning assemblies. Two members of the Milo Fire Department met with our youngsters on the afternoon of October 7th, and the teachers introduced books, videos, and general information on the topics. The week concluded with the second of four required fire drills to be conducted this year. Many elementary families conducted their own fire drills at home.
2. The fall round of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills testing were completed by the kindergarten and first grade students the week of October 6th. This will provide a basis for a check of progress twice more this year – once in the winter and once in the spring. Second and third graders’ oral reading fluency will be tested later this month, following the same schedule. In addition, the third graders completed the Measures of Academic Progress this month. Retakes of this test that covers math, language, reading, and science next April will show us individual and group progress on our written curriculum. These, along with daily assessments and the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills given in November, are all important diagnostic tools that help us revise our curriculum and instruction as needed and helps us tailor our program to meet individual students’ needs.
3. September 22nd was Character Day at the Primary building. Guest area high school students visited our school and met with groups of students to emphasize the importance of good character in the students’ daily lives. They taught the students character chants and led the students in various interesting activities. These high school students, including S.E. Warren’s own Joey Clay, are participants in Drake University’s Institute for Character Development program. We appreciate P.I.E.’s financial support of this and other character development efforts throughout the year in both of our elementaries.
4. Five Primary teachers attended the “Risky Business” conference in Des Moines on September 29th. This annual conference centers on students at risk and involving all students in community volunteer programs. Three more teachers will be attending a two-day conference on October 29th and 30th entitled “Stronger Together” that focuses on a similar theme. Substitute teachers for those days are paid through the Primary’s Com Serve Grant.
5. P.I.E. sponsored both a football and a cheerleading camp on the evening of October 8th. The youngsters then performed at the October 10th’s football game.
6. Upcoming events include Kindergarten Grandparent’s Week during the week of October 20th, where students’ grandparents are encouraged to visit school and enjoy a school lunch with their grandchildren, and Drug Free Week during the week of October 27th, when we emphasize the dangers of drug abuse.

Intermediate Principal’s report:

1. Last year Brenton Tigner and I attended several training sessions of the Iowa Technical Adequacy Project (ITAP). This project required us to review our district wide assessments to ensure they measure what they are intended to measure. We also had to review standards and benchmarks to make sure they were tested by the tests. Additionally, we had to assure the state we use the data appropriately. The required paperwork has been completed and is ready to submit.
2. The two sixth grade math teachers are participating in an intensive staff development offered through the AEA called E2T2. Mental math and daily math review are part of the program aimed at improving middle school students’ math scores. Both teachers are responding favorably to the training and student activities.
3. Wednesday we had a joint staff development session with the Melcher-Dallas staff here at Lacona. AEA staff presented “Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement”. Teachers are required to implement and document one of the strategies. We will follow up in building meetings and at the November inservice.
4. A few more students need to complete MAP testing and we need to get all the data uploaded to NWEA. After that, we will be able to download district level reports. Next week several teachers, Terry and Charlotte will attend a data analysis workshop. Individual student results will be available to parents at conference time.

Secondary Principal’s report:

Homecoming – Mr. Ripperger and the Student Council are to be commended for their planning and organization of this year’s Homecoming. Many favorable comments from students, teachers, and community were received.

Juvenile Court School Liaison Position – I met with Mr. Eggert, Superintendent of I-35, on Tuesday to go over resumes. We had approximately 20 applicants. Next Friday (10/17) we will be interviewing the top six applicants for the position. It is our desire to have someone in the position by the end of the month.

MAP Testing – Testing has been completed and we are already receiving results. I will be going to Iowa City on Tuesday for training on how to interpret the results. MAP testing is used to test knowledge of what our students are being taught with our curriculum.

ITBS Scores – We have been spending time at our faculty meetings looking at the ITBS/ITED results from last year. We have looked at Language Arts and Math so far. We are seeing areas that need improvement. The area most in need of improvement in Language Arts is grammar, in Math the area of single and multiple step problem solving.

Governor’s Volunteer Award – Our Student Council was recognized recently for having completed 10 years of roadside cleanup activities. A reception was held at the DMACC campus. Courtney Kimzey and Chad Hart were there to receive the award. We had our pictures taken with Governor Vilsack and his wife.

Character Education Program – Monthly a character trait is going to be emphasized in the school. Teachers that see students behaving in a way that reinforces the trait will have opportunity to nominate that student to be part of a monthly awards program. Local merchants and organizations have been contacted to help with the awards through certificates, tickets, gift cards, and services. The first character trait was respect.

ECP – Students involved in the Establishing Community Pride group have accumulated over 1100 hours of volunteer time since the summer began. I am pleased to see this type of activity being initiated by our students with the help of Patty Marshall and Ann Miller.

Legislative report - John Della Vedova related to the Board that the governor has ordered a 2.5% across-the-board cut. The cut to school districts will be applied on a per-pupil basis rather than as a 2.5 percent cut to the district’s state aid payment. This will amount to a cut of approximately $56,000 for Southeast Warren. A significant consideration of the 2004 legislature will be the ability to maintain the 2 percent allowable growth rate set for the 2004-05 school year.

Warren County Conference Board – John Burrell reported that Warren County would conduct a property tax pilot project for the next two years. Two sets of records will be kept; one set using the current property tax system and another set using the sale price of residential property as an assessed value. Ag land would remain the same as it currently is and residential property would be assessed on a square foot basis until the house is sold.

Children First Forum – Jennifer Birchette reported that the Children First Forum met on October 6th. Carla Anders has volunteered to take chairman for the next three months. The Comprehensive School Improvement Plan will be the main focus of this committee for the coming school year. The Annual Progress Report was reviewed. The next meeting will be held on November 3rd at Milo.

Athletic Boosters - Doug Hommer presented a request from the Athletic Boosters for permission to crown, tile, install an irrigation system and fence the footfall field. The Boosters also asked the Board to consider helping with the cost of the project. The entire cost of the project is approximately $24,000. The boosters would like for the district to consider paying for the fence, which would cost approximately $6,500. The project would be started right after the last football game on October 31st. Motion by Miller, seconded by Birchette to support the Athletic Boosters proposal and if at all possible the district will come up with the money to support it, but no guarantee. Ayes: 5.

Fine Arts Boosters: Jennifer Birchette reported that the fall play will be in November with both elementary and high school students involved. The Fine Arts Boosters will be serving the meal for the IASB District meeting on Thursday night.

CONSENT AGENDA: Motion by Birchette, seconded by Miller to approve the September 15, 2003, minutes. Ayes: 5.

Motion by Wadle, seconded by Hardy to approve the financial reports. Ayes: 5.


1. One of the most important votes for this district ever will be the one-cent sales tax: 5 of the 6 districts have voted their resolutions and I would definitely recommend that you follow that trend. It is very powerful legislation for this district and could generate as much as $240,000 per year for infrastructure and transportation needs. Hopefully it could free up some general fund dollars for salaries and operating costs. We also need to appoint a board member and a community member to serve on the county sales tax committee.
2. We are down 4.8 students: this generates a budget problem for 2004-2005. Our new money (dollars over and above this year’s budget) is approximately $33,000. It takes $23,000 to move teachers over on the salary schedule.
3. If any of the members would like to stop by and review the school finance structure feel free to let me know and I will see if we can get together.
4. Information was presented to the Board concerning a shared superintendent position with Melcher-Dallas Community School District. President Burrell invited community members to contact board members with input concerning the superintendent search.

DISPOSITION OF OLD SCHOOL HOUSE: Ron Miller related that he had looked at the old school house and thought it would be cost effective to save the building if it was going to be used. Discussion was held concerning asbestos in the old school house. Previous asbestos reports indicate the building contains asbestos. Before remodeling can be done on the building, the building must be tested for asbestos at a cost of approximately $300-$700. If the tests confirm that the building contains asbestos and the asbestos would be disturbed by the remodeling, a licensed contractor must remove the asbestos prior to remodeling. Ron Miller will bring an estimate of the cost to remodel the old school house to the next board meeting. Motion by Wadle, seconded by Birchette to table this item until figures are ready. Ayes: 5.

PURCHASE OF BUS CAMERAS: Agenda item postponed until November board meeting. President Burrell asked that while research was being done on bus cameras that research also be done on the cost of mounting cameras to the buildings.

FCCLA TRIP: Miss Rhodes requested permission from the Board for herself and five FCCLA members to attend the FCCLA National Meeting in Dallas, Texas, on November 20-23. Motion by Hardy, seconded by Birchette to approve the FCCLA trip to Dallas, Texas. Ayes: 5.

8TH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES TRIP: Mrs. Cooper requested permission to take the 8th grade class on a two-day trip along the Lewis and Clark trail in Sioux City, Iowa on May 20-21. The cost of the trip is funded through a grant in the amount of $3,335 from the National Geographic Society. A point system will be set up for students to earn points based on behavior, only those students with enough points will be able to go on the trip. Motion by Miller, seconded by Hardy to approve the 8th grade social studies trip and give Terry Gladfelter and the teachers authority to establish guidelines for a point system. Ayes: 5.

SALE OF LAGOON: President Burrell related that a meeting had been held with Corey Frank, Superintendent Della Vedova and the people who are in charge of financing the lagoon project. Superintendent Della Vedova related that Warren County has agreed to purchase the lagoon for $40,000 and would like for the school to mow around the lagoon three times per year. Southeast Warren will not be responsible for any other operation or maintenance costs. If the Board agrees to this agreement, the Assistant County Attorney will write up a purchase agreement and mowing agreement to be reviewed by our school attorney. Kevin Smith expressed concern about the liability and responsibility connected with mowing the lagoon. Motion by Miller, seconded by Wadle to accept the sale of the lagoon for $40,000 contingent upon the approval of the purchase agreement and the mowing agreement. Ayes: 5.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Recommendation to hire George Ricklefs as HS Custodian, Step 2 of the Non-Lead Custodian Schedule. Motion by Birchette, seconded by Hardy to approve hiring George Ricklefs, HS Custodian. Ayes: 5.

Recommendation to hire Paula Schultz as Academic Coach, Step 1. Motion by Miller, seconded by Hardy to approve hiring Paula Schultz as Academic Coach. Ayes: 5.

Motion by Miller, seconded by Wadle to accept the resignation of Rachelle Spence, Daycare Associate, effective October 22, 2003. Ayes: 5.

Charlotte Weaklend recommended hiring Mike Mason as Elementary Lead Custodian at the base salary. Motion by Wadle, seconded by Birchette to approve hiring Mike Mason as Elementary Lead Custodian. Ayes: 5.

GAMBLING LICENSE: Motion by Miller, seconded by Birchette to approve the application for a gambling license. Ayes: 5.

AT-RISK BUDGET: Julie Wilson reviewed the proposed At-Risk budget for the 2004-2005 school year. Motion by Birchette, seconded by Miller to approve the 2004-2005 At-Risk budget. Ayes: 5.

LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX: Superintendent Della Vedova read the resolution to submit to the voters of Warren County the question of the imposition of a one percent local sales and services tax for school infrastructure. Motion by Wadle, seconded by Birchette to approve the resolution. Ayes: 5.

REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT: Superintendent Della Vedova read the resolution adopting the Revenue Purpose Statement that sets forth the use of the revenue generated by the Local Option Sales and Services Tax in Warren County. Motion by Wadle, seconded by Hardy to approve the resolution adopting the Revenue Purpose Statement. Ayes: 5.

COUNTY SALES TAX COMMITTEE: President Burrell appointed Ron Miller and Paul Mead as representatives to serve on the county sales tax committee.

CERTIFIED ENROLLMENT: Julie Wilson reviewed the September 2003 certified enrollment figures. The September 2003 certified enrollment is down 4.8 students from the prior year. Open enrollment out is up 5 students and open enrollment in is up 6 students from the prior year.

SBRC REQUEST FOR MODIFIED ALLOWABLE GROWTH: Motion by Miller, seconded by Birchette to approve the request to the SBRC for modified allowable growth for open enrollment out students not on the previous year’s certified enrollment count for whom tuition will be paid in the current year in the maximum amount allowed. Ayes: 5.

CERTIFIED ANNUAL REPORT: Julie Wilson gave a brief review of the Certified Annual Report for the period ending June 30, 2003.

BOARD POLICY SERIES 100: Motion by Hardy, seconded by Wadle to approve the review of Board Policy Series 100, “Educational Philosophy.” Ayes: 5.

President Burrell adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

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