G-R Special School Board By Marcy Knaack
December 30, 2011
Several area residents attended the public hearing the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School Board held Thursday evening for an early waiver for the 2012-13 school year. Julie Grunklee, Jeff Mayes, Shelleen Hatch and Doug Edler all expressed concern about school starting before the State Fair ended. Grunklee said the State Fair offers a lot of working opportunities for 4-H and FFA members and it makes the students have to make a decision whether to work at the State Fair or attend classes. Several of the students are still showing livestock when school has started. Mayes said he would like to see school start the Monday after State Fair. Supt. Tim Kuehl explained to those concerned of why school starts when it does and how they are working on a common calendar with neighboring schools. He said they would take their comments into consideration when setting the 2012-13 calendar. Later in the meeting the board approved the early waiver. Tyson Creswell and Madison Westwater represented the Lego League team and gave a demonstration of their robotics and told of the regional competition they attended in Marshalltown this past weekend. Greg Westwater and Kyla Kiburis currently work with the eight members of the League and said it has been very exciting. The board voted to proceed with the specs to secure a high school boiler system and recommend it be fully operational by September 15th. Waterloo Boiler recommends installing one steam boiler and two hot water boilers, instead of two steam boilers which was earlier recommended. Mrs. Cheryl Pease was hired as the head girls’ soccer coach and Mrs. Kathleen Holst was hired as Library Associate at the Reinbeck Elementary at minimum wage and working six hours per week. The board approved the application for Drop-out Prevention Allowable Growth. The allowable growth helps to fund positions that provide support to students at-risk of dropping out of school. It would fund the at-risk director, two associates, alternative school tuition, and plan to fund a portion of a work placement director position in conjunction with other Cedar Valley West schools. The board approved the application for Modified Allowable Growth for the Special Education Deficit. This will allow the G-R District to generate the spending authority to fully fund this program. The deficit for FY-11 was $47,520.12 The special education pool is officially ending as of June 30, 2012. All special education teachers will be brought onto the G-R salary scale, with credit for years of experience in the AEA pool. The second reading of the following board policies was approved. They are: 204 – Board of Directors’ Conflict of Interest; 212 – Open Meetings; 401.2 – Employee Conflict of Interest; 401.5R1 – Employee Records Regulation; 705.1 – Purchasing-Bidding; and 711.2R2 – Use of video cameras on school buses regulation. The G-R District will continue the agreement with Grundy Center to share the position of Transportation Director. The district receives supplement weighting of students. An early graduation request was approved for Brittany Mason. She was not at G-R last spring when these requests would typically be submitted. A resolution to participate in the P-Card program was approved. The P-Card will allow the district to reduce the number of smaller checks written to vendors by consolidating them into one check each month. A P-Card will operate like a credit card; it does not carry a revolving line of credit, the balance must be paid each month; each card can be customized to limit the purchasing authority and spending levels; there is no annual fee; there is no minimum number of cards or set up charges; there is no charge for fraud protection; no special hardware or software needed, only internet access; and there is a rebate the district can earn. Kuehl told the board of the various meetings that have been going on with other schools in Cedar Valley West, Grundy Center, Aplington-Parkersburg and Dike-New Hartford. On November 22nd the four superintendents and two board members from each district met and discussed progress on the apprentice program, funding a director for the program, and setting a common calendar. Plans are being made for a ‘traditional’ calendar for the 2012-13 school years with a more innovative calendar in the 2013-14 school years. They are hoping to approve calendars for both years this spring. The innovative calendar would have a later school start, longer breaks throughout the year and getting out of school in mid-June. The board would like to have feedback from the community. Principal Bill Parker had very positive comments about the Winter Concert held earlier this month. He said the instructors did a great job getting everyone ready for the performance. Principal Matt Leeman talked about the various meetings he has attended and how the staff is getting involved and sharing their ideas. At the IASB District Caucus held at the Delegate Assembly of the school board convention, Dan L Woodin of Ames Community Schools was nominated for a one-year term on the IASB Board of Directors and Julie Walter of Johnston Community Schools was nominated for a two-year term. The board will cast their vote for these two individuals. Kuehl shared with the board the football sportsmanship ratings, noting they are not great but acceptable. A work session will be held January 11, at 5:30 p.m. The voted PPEL projects will be discussed. The regular meeting will be held January 19th, 6:30 p.m., both in Reinbeck.
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