SOUTHEAST WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Work Session
July 29, 2008

The Southeast Warren Board of Education met for a work session July 29, 2008, at 5:30 p.m. in the ICN room of the Junior/Senior High School building. The following board members were present: Paul Mead, Larrie Williams, John Burrell, Jennifer Mihalovichh and Ron Miller. Superintendent Carl Reno, Primary Principal Charlotte Weaklend, Intermediate Principal Dan Dow, Secondary Principal Delane Galvin, and Board Secretary Julie Wilson were also in attendance.

Mr. Reno asked board members for the names of individuals to be on the Open Enrollment Committee. Board members are to let Mr. Reno know of any additional names before the next board meeting.

RESPONSE TO CHILDREN FIRST FORUM RECOMMENDATIONS: The Board discussed the 2007-2008 Children First Forum recommendations and developed responses. The recommendations and responses are as follows:

Student Achievement

  1. The annual improvement goal for reading is to increase the percent of 2008-2009 eleventh grade students earning a score considered proficient or above (41st percentile or above) on the Iowa Tests of Educational Development Reading Comprehension as compared to their performance as tenth graders (57.4%).
  2. The annual improvement goal for math is to increase the percent of 2008-2009 fourth grade students earning a score considered proficient or above (41st percentile or above) on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills Math Total as compared to their performance as third graders (64.3%).
  3. The annual improvement goal for science is to increase the percent of 2008-2009 eighth grade students earning a score considered proficient or above (41st percentile or above) on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills Science as compared to their performance as seventh graders (65.7%).

Response: The Board supports the student achievement goals.

Bullying/Harassment

  1. Provide a uniform message to students, parents, coaches and staff about how to cope with bullying and harassment and what steps to take if they are bullied or witness bullying.
  2. Consider implementing a district wide bullying/harassment program.

Response: The Board instructed the administration to develop a formal procedure for handling and reporting bullying/harassment complaints.

Additional Unit of Mathematics

  1. Consider one semester of business/finance math and one semester of statistics.
  2. Investigate the possibility of team teaching the business/finance math (with a math teacher and the business teacher) so math credit could be given for this course.

Response: The Board agrees with the recommendation as long as courses can be fit into the schedule. The Curriculum Coordinator is directed to review the math curriculum.

Additional One-Half Unit of Business

  1. Consider a marketing course or adding work-study as a capstone course for business education.

Response: The Board supports this goal.

Gender Balance in Vocational Courses

  1. Be more aggressive in marketing vocational courses to girls.
  2. Focus on the creative aspects within the vocational areas.
  3. Identify females in the community who are engaged in vocational areas and who can serve as models for girls.

Response: The Board agrees with the goals. The Board asked the administration to look at the class schedule and for possible ways to incorporate girls into the classes.

2009 IASB LEGISLATIVE ACTION PRIORITIES: The Board discussed legislative priorities for 2009. The consensus of the Board was to adopt the following five priorities:

  1. Supports setting allowable growth at a rate that encourages continuous school improvement and reflects actual cost increases experienced by school districts. The allowable growth rate should be set no lower than 6 percent. Equivalent state categorical funding is not a substitute for adequate allowable growth.
  2. Supports a school foundation formula that recognizes and adequately funds changes in demographics, including declining and increasing enrollment challenges.
  3. Supports full funding of the state’s portion of the instructional support levy.
  4. Supports the locally elected school board as the final authority to utilize and allocate funding that best meets the needs of students and the district.
  5. Supports school district and AEA authority to offer long-term differential pay to reverse market driven shortage area positions critical to student achievement, such as highly qualified math, science, foreign language, fine arts and other personnel critical to meet district learning goals.

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR/CURRICULUM DIRECTOR: Mr. Reno related to the Board that due to the new administrative alignments there would be a need to hire an Athletic Director. Mr. Dow will handle the Curriculum Director duties.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Mr. Reno related to the Board that a meeting would be held with the Department of Education on Monday to discuss concerns in the special education department.

403(b) PLANS: Julie Wilson related to the Board that due to legislative and IRS changes the District will no longer be able to offer tax sheltered annuities after January 1, 2009, in the same manner as is currently being used. One option available for the District to be in compliance with the new regulations is to join the State’s 403(b) plan. The option would be cost effective for the District and would provide quality products for employees.

FIVE-YEAR EXPENDITURE PLAN: The Board discussed priorities for use of the sales tax revenue. Mr. Reno related that the fire alarm system at the High School needs to be updated. The track and baseball field are also in need of improvements. Suggestions were also made to blacktop the daycare parking lot and around the bus barn and to check into a geothermal heating system for the High School. Mr. Reno also suggested using a portion of the sales tax revenue to reduce property taxes.

President Paul Mead adjourned the meeting at 7:49 p.m.

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