February 14, 2005

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met in regular session February 14, 2005, in the technology center of the Junior/Senior High School building. Board President Ron Miller called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. The following board members were present: Chris Wadle, Jennifer Birchette, Chris Hardy and John Burrell. Superintendent Harold Hulleman, Secondary Principal Terry Gladfelter, Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend, Intermediate Principal Cindy Butler and Board Secretary Julie Wilson were also in attendance, along with members of the community.

AGENDA: Motion by Chris Hardy, seconded by John Burrell to approve the revised agenda. Ayes: 5.

RECOGNITION: Dr. Hulleman presented a certificate of appreciation from the Bureau of Children, Family and Community Services to Julie Wilson for submission of an errorless 2003-04 Web Special Education Supplement to the Certified Annual Report. Approximately 51% of Iowa districts submitted a 2003-04 Web Special Education Supplement that did not require any corrections or revisions.


Transportation report submitted by Joel Mosher:

  1. We had a total of 32 extra trips for the month.
  2. We only had one bus get stuck on the ice that had to be towed out.

Primary Principal’s report submitted by Charlotte Weaklend:

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a training for building principals about a very popular instructional supervision strategy called the 3 minute walk-thru. This strategy involves frequent informal visits by the principal to the classrooms where student engagement, curricular objectives being taught, teaching strategies in use, use of materials to enhance the curriculum, and any safety issues are monitored and noted. Possible themes for later discussion between the principal and the teacher are also noted for future reference. That discussion is intended to be a springboard for teacher reflection about his or her practice as a teacher. In some cases, the principal might be able to teach an individual teacher a new strategy that he/she was not aware of that will enhance learning in the classroom or discover the need for a whole building inservice.

I have conducted informal visits to the elementary classrooms for several years now where I have often written a note to the teacher complementing them on positive things I have seen happening in the classroom and have remarked before about how many really good teaching strategies our teachers are using. I have encouraged the teachers to visit one another’s classrooms during their planning times or to plan a visit to a colleague’s classroom while I would cover their classroom. I found this to be a great learning activity myself as a teacher.

Most recently I have established a “wanted poster” themed bulletin board in the teachers’ workroom of my building where I briefly describe the reading strategies that I have noted on a recent walk-thru of the building. The caption of the display says, “Wanted – teachers who demonstrate good reading comprehension strategies! Do you see yourself?” Examples of those listed strategies include:

  • Frequent stops for multi-level questioning
  • Word search activity to build vocabulary
  • Read again for added comprehension
  • Scaffolding questions to break down concepts
  • Speaking skill reinforcement with group “good morning, (student’s name)” activity
  • Discussion with a peer about how to motivate a student who is not putting forth his best effort
  • Allowing young children to free draw as a preamble to formal writing and reading
  • Modeling fluent reading skills
  • A mystery word exercise to introduce vocabulary
  • Providing scaffolding (support) for small group of students during silent reading time
  • Teacher stops read-aloud to draw parallel between characters of current and previous stories
  • Class discussion of story elements using graphic organizer to record student responses
  • Using a word hunt activity of key vocabulary words in a story
  • Using a prerecorded story read-aloud to introduce the next story – followed by discussion of characters, theme and key vocabulary of story

These strategies are a snapshot for what was happening in our building during our designated reading time on just one morning. A compilation of several of these snapshots really gives a pretty good picture of how reading is taught in the primary grades at Southeast Warren.

Intermediate Principal’s report submitted by Cindy Butler:

  1. We continue to study research based reading strategies during our inservices. Teachers are meeting in study teams and sharing information on strategies tried. Teachers are demonstrating strategies during the inservice or during building meetings. We really appreciate those teachers willing to take a risk and demonstrate before their peers. We all learn from each other when we share.

    The Leadership Team (one teacher from each building and the principals) met on February 2nd to review team logs and implementation logs. We also reviewed the available ITBS test scores to determine if we are on track to meet our CSIP goals.
  2. Fourth grade students are participating in groups offering specialized reading instruction based on the need indicated by data. Members of the AEA staff, teachers and I looked at the ITBS scores and other data to rearrange groups. We plan for these groups to be flexible so that students can be moved around as they show need.
  3. The E2T2 math teachers and administrators continue to meet two times a month. For second semester teachers were given an option to continue studying research or to design and carry out an action research project. All the teachers have elected to complete an action research project. After examining the data, Mr. Jones chose to conduct his research on data analysis and graphing. Mrs. Ripperger chose to concentrate on multiple-step problem solving. Mr. Dicks is still looking at data but is considering a project on algebraic principles.
  4. Next week a team of teachers will meet with a reading consultant from the AEA as we begin to consider the adoption of new reading materials. The current reading materials were adopted approximately eight years ago. Older reading series did not have the benefit of the research that has taken place over the last few years. Many publishers have incorporated research-based strategies into their new reading materials.

Legislative report submitted by Chris Wadle:

SF 36 Allowable Growth sets the 2006-07 allowable growth rate at 4 percent, raising the per public cost by $197 compared to 2005-06, for a state cost per pupil of $5,128.

Allowable growth is done, but tell legislators schools still need help.

The House passed SF 36 on Monday, January 24 and only needs the governor’s signature to be final. During the debate, an amendment for 6% allowable growth was proposed and defeated on party lines. Thank your legislators for determining allowable growth this early in the session and retaining the process of setting allowable growth in advance of the budget year.

However, schools still need help. Ask your legislator’s to commit to additional teacher quality resources and more than double the teacher quality appropriation. Convey the importance of including funding for the 2 additional days of professional development mandated for the 2005-06 school year. Also remind them that continuing the $30 million in the class size reading initiative is crucial. This is extremely important to SEW in light of the January 30, 2005, Opinion article.

Warren County Conference Board – John Burrell related that he had received a letter from Dave Ellis, Warren County Assessor, with the proposed FY 06 budget.

Children First Forum – Ron Miller related that the Children First Forum meeting held on January 31st was very well attended. The committee discussed the junior high athletic schedule, reading comprehension test results, the 2005-2006 school calendar and the ELP program.

Athletic Boosters – Andy Schurman related to the Board that the dirt work and tiling on the football field is now complete. The football field previously had a fall of 9 feet from north to south; the field now has a fall of 3 feet with a 1-foot crown in the center of the field. The Athletic Boosters are getting prices for a sprinkler system and fence for the field. The fence bids will be brought to the Board at next month’s meeting.

Fine Arts Boosters – Jennifer Birchette related that the Fine Arts Talent Night held on February 12th was very successful. There was a nice crowd and a variety of entertainment.

CONSENT AGENDA: The following items were on the consent agenda:

  1. January 10, 2005, regular meeting minutes
  2. Financial reports

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

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT: Dr. Hulleman reported on the following items:

  1. Next year’s health insurance rates will increase just slightly more than 9%. Firm rates will be sent to the District in the near future.
  2. IASB is holding an ABLE Course entitled “Build Your Community Relations, Teamwork and Board Meeting Skills” over the ICN on February 16th and February 22nd. If any board member is interested in attending, contact Julie Wilson to register.
  3. IASB recently mailed an issued of Compass to all board members covering the topic of high school reform.
  4. An updated board calendar was included in board packets.

ADMINISTRATOR STIPENDS: A summary of the additional duties that the principals and business manager have as a result of having no curriculum director and a part time superintendent was submitted to the Board for review. Dr. Hulleman recommended approving the stipends for the second half of the year. Motion by John Burrell, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve the administrator stipends for the second half of the year. Ayes: 5. John Burrell requested occasional updates on curriculum issues.

FIVE-YEAR PLAN: A proposed five-year plan for facilities, transportation, and technology was presented to the Board. The proposed plan would use virtually every dollar generated from the one-cent sales tax and PPEL levy. The first year provides for roof repairs and the second year provides for parking lots, the top two priorities of the Board. The plan will be presented again in the spring along with a long-range plan for curriculum needs.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT SCORES: Terry Gladfelter presented the reading achievement scores for the past three years for grades 3 through 11. The number of students proficient (scoring at the 41st percentile or higher) ranged from 66.7% up to 92.1%. Data was also presented showing the percentage of change in reading proficiency for the same groups of students from 2002-03 to 2003-04 and 2003-04 to 2004-05. The change in reading proficiency from 2003-04 to 2004-05 ranged from +1.3% to +32.7%. The results show an excellent increase in reading proficiency.

The Board took a recess at 7:55 p.m. and reconvened at 8:28 p.m.

MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT: Proposals for maintenance agreements for the Milo and Lacona heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems were submitted to the Board for consideration. The Board asked for input from the Milo and Lacona custodians to help determine if a maintenance agreement would be beneficial.

DAILY SCHEDULE FOR 2005-2006: Terry Gladfelter presented the following rational for keeping junior high athletic practices out of the school day:

  • I was hired to improve the academic achievement levels of students.
  • Our CSIP goals have focused on improving reading and building a positive school climate.
  • National research showing that students need to spend more time in classes and an even longer school year. Research is showing that more academic rigor is needed along with more courses for students to prepare for post-secondary education.
  • Taking athletics out of the schedule has done the following:
    • Increase scheduling opportunities for classes, especially at the senior high level.
    • Special reading classes at the junior high level have helped to improve reading scores.
  • Putting athletics back in the schedule does the following:
    • Limits scheduling opportunities.
    • Places too many staff at the end of the day with a planning period.
    • Must use additional staff to cover junior high study halls.
  • Scheduling concerns – the POI is going to move JV games to the varsity schedule which will free up one to two evenings a week, thereby helping us to create a more consistent practice schedule for next year.
  • Concerns have been expressed over the teams having to practice in the mornings – dance and drill teams practice almost exclusively in the morning at 6 am. Some of those girls also play sports and make the commitment to do both.
  • In speaking with coaches, it is my perception that the move to place athletics back in the schedule is a matter of personal convenience.
  • As educational leaders, we must make decisions based on data. Is there educational data to support a decision that athletics in the schedule will improve student achievement?

Board members expressed their viewpoints concerning the junior high practice schedule. Motion by John Burrell, seconded by Jennifer Birchette to put the junior high athletics back into the 8th hour of the day. Ayes: Burrell and Birchette. Nays: Miller, Wadle and Hardy. Motion defeated 2:3.

EARLY GRADUATION REQUEST: Terry Gladfelter recommended approval of an early graduation request for Camille Ridout. Camille has completed the requirements needed to receive a diploma from Southeast Warren. Motion by Jennifer Birchette, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve the early graduation request for Camille Ridout. Ayes: 5.

SCHOOL ATTORNEY: Dr. Hulleman recommended that the Ahlers & Cooney Law Firm be appointed as legal counsel for the District. Motion by John Burrell, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve Ahlers & Cooney Law Firm as legal counsel for the District. Ayes: 5.

Jennifer Birchette left the board meeting at 9:10 p.m.

HEARING ON EARLY START DATE: The calendar proposed for 2005-2006 includes a start date prior to the week that includes September 1. A hearing was held to allow community members to speak for or against the early start date of August 24th.

APPROVE EARLY START DATE: Motion by Chris Hardy, seconded by Chris Wadle to approve the early start date of August 24th for the 2005-2006 school year. Ayes: 4.

2005-2006 SCHOOL CALENDAR: Dr. Hulleman recommended approval of the proposed school calendar for 2005-2006. Motion by Chris Wadle, seconded by John Burrell to approve the 2005-2006 school calendar. Ayes: 4.

PERSONNEL: Motion by Chris Wadle, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve paying Jason Walter the supplemental pay for Assistant Junior High Wrestling Coach. Ayes: 4. The Board asked that the contract language regarding supplemental pay for assistant extra-curricular positions that are not filled be looked at for next year.

Motion by John Burrell, seconded by Chris Hardy to approve the resignation of Charles Jones as Athletic Director effective at the end of the current contract year. Ayes: 4.

BOARD POLICIES: The Board reviewed Board Policy Sections 203, “Procedures of Operation”, 204, “Meetings of the Board”, and 205, “Miscellaneous”. No revisions were made to the policies.

President Miller adjourned the meeting at 9:34 p.m.

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