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G-R Special School Board By Marcy Knaack

November 25, 2011
Northern-Sun Print
Monday evening at the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School Board Kassie Nelson and Andy McQuillan told the board how they use the 1:1 in their classrooms. Nelson has her students write blogs to keep everyone updated on what they are doing in art class.  McQuillan said in his business classes he has converted workbooks over to excel. Students are excited about what they are doing. It was the concensus of the board to purchase the equipment for VREP (Virtual Reality Education Pathfinder) for $3,600 and there would be additional costs for training. Funds from capital projects will be used for the equipment and the training can be purchased with Professional Development funds. VREP is a program designed to offer the opportunity for students to work with a program called Blender in order to become further engaged in design and learn some basic functions of engineering. High School Principal Matt Leeman attended a meeting in northeast Iowa where students from Valley CEW shared projects that they had completed. Students shared that they are not allowed to participate in VREP if they are not caught up and successful in their other classes. G-R would also follow those same guidelines. Leeman said Jenna Roeding has a Student Internship at Grundy County Hospital. Roeding is interested in going to college for 3 possible areas: dietician/nutrition, social work/psychology, and speech/language pathology. The hospital is able to provide her with these varied experiences and Jenna will spend half days there in the afternoon. High school students have completed both the Fall MAPS testing and ITED’s testing. ITED’s were taken over a period of 3 days and the 4 tests that were taken were: Mathematics: Concepts and Problem Solving; Mathematics: Computation; Analysis of Science Materials and Reading Comprehension. These are the 4 tests that the district is held accountable for with No Child Left Behind. Gladbrook campus Principal Bill Parker said there were 104 students in middle school that made the A and B honor rolls for the first quarter. Thirty-seven students had a grade lower than C- for the quarter and out of these 37, twenty of these students had only one grade below a C-. Parker said attendance at Parent-Teacher Conferences was well attended at the elementary. Middle school had 73% attending but there was a poor showing in eighth grade. Iowa Assessment Testing began last week and continues this week. The new tests are aligned more to assess the Iowa Core. The Gladbrook Campus Winter Concert will be held December 5th with the K-2 and 5th & 6th grade starting at 6:30, followed by the junior high at 7:30. Mark Bystricky was offered a contract to drive a route out of the Reinbeck campus and Al Mittler was offered a contract to drive a shuttle route out of the Reinbeck campus. The board accepted the resignation of P J Holbach as assistant softball coach due to work commitments. Holbach would like to continue this coming season with someone willing to split the contract. The board rescinded the contract to Whitney Brauns Chardoulias made last month as she has moved out of the area. The board approved hiring a library associate up to six hours per week for the remainder of the school year. Jane Koele said that circulation of books has increased and has tried to utilize volunteers and high school students but there hasn’t been the commitment needed to be successful. A public hearing for an early start waiver to the 2012-13 school year will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the regular December 15th meeting. The contract with Iowa Drug and Alcohol Testing Program was renewed whereby they provide the testing required for district bus drivers. An early retirement incentive will be offered in the 2011-12 school year. The 1st offer applies to Full Time Certified District Employees who have taught in the district 15 years and will attain the age of 55 by June 30, 2012. The 2nd offer will be offered to Full Time Administrative District Employees who have been in the district 7 years and they must attain the age of 55 by June 30, 2012.  Each offer includes a cash benefit of $10,000 less applicable payroll deductions paid on October 20, 2012 and health insurance paid for 8 years. The district contributions to participants in the program will be capped at $7,000 per year. Up to three qualified candidates will be accepted to receive the benefits for certified district employees. The offer is open from December 1, 2011 until 4:30 p.m. January 3, 2012. The first reading of Board Policy Revisions was held on the following policies: 204 – Board of Directors’ Conflict of Interest; 212 – Open Meetings; 401.2 – Employee Conflict of Interest; 401.4R1 – Employee Records Regulation; 705.1 – Purchasing-Bidding; and 711.2R2 – Use of video cameras on school buses regulation. Supt. Tim Kuehl gave a recap of the board retreat held recently where Harry Heiligentha, IASB Director of Board Leadership facilitated a board development workshop. The board also discussed Guiding Principles, Goals, and Capital Projects/PPEL. PPEL and Capital Project funds will be used for: window improvements, concrete work, security, HVAC upgrades, remodel high school old gym and adjacent areas; bus barn Gladbrook campus; middle school 1:1; asbestos abatement, ceiling/light replacement. Board members will be attending the Iowa School Board Convention November 16th and 17th. Kuehl said a window had been broken at the Gladbrook elementary and said there were eleven windows that do not seal and recommended replacing them at a cost of $2,125. Dorothy Keith told Kuehl that she was unable to take care of the nature area at the Reinbeck elementary. The Tama Co Zoning Administration denied the request from a Gladbrook resident to build a building on an area of the parking lot at the football field that he owns. The board would like to see the property line defined and the fence that was removed be replaced in a joint effort with the district. There will be a meeting at the Western Outreach Center Tuesday, November 22nd with representatives from the following school districts: Grundy Center, Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Dike-New Hartford and Aplington-Parkersburg. The next regular meeting will be Thursday, December 15th at 6:30 p.m. in Gladbrook. The next work session will be held January 11th, starting at 5:30 p.m., in Reinbeck.


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