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GMG Board sets guidelines for visitor participation By Margaret Thomsen

February 15, 2013
Northern-Sun Print
The GMG School Board held the regular Board meeting on February 11. Following roll call, approval of the agenda and signing January meeting minutes, Superintendent Ben Petty addressed the issue of public participation at Board meetings. Because of happenings at prior meetings Code No. 255: Public Participation in Board Meetings was reviewed by Supt. Petty. He explained that persons need to follow a chain of command and that in no way was the Board trying to stifle public comment. The Board does not evaluate a person or program at a Board meeting – it is not what they do. To summarize the procedure - the matter should be handled as near the source as possible; complaints should be dealt with courteously and in a constructive manner; and individuals affected by the complaint should have an opportunity to respond. Green Mountain Garwin Education Association members were present and a letter was read to the Board by member Ann Jackson. The letter as presented ….. “The Green Mountain Garwin Education Association is writing to offer its support of GMG’s administration, teachers and coaches. In our community, we are blessed with a school whose employees care for and are committed to students. As a member of the staff at GMG, we know that each one of us is a part of a whole. From the bus drivers, to the calculus teacher, to the activities director, to the night janitor, to the junior high basketball coach, we are all here to serve students. It takes more than one person to achieve great success; it takes all of us working together, supporting and encouraging one another. Some of our programs seem to be more successful than others. A win-loss record appears to be an easy way to quantify what students gain through participating in a sport, just as a standardized test score seems to be an easy way to quantify what students gain through a specific class. These methods of evaluation are incomplete. Can the lesson of working hard be quantified? What is the value placed on learning to work as a team? What is it worth to teach a child to persevere, to continue working when others quit? Whether students learn these lessons during a season of play is not readily apparent in the win-loss record of a team and a losing record does not mean these lessons were not gained by the participants. GMGEA would assert that these unquantifiable lessons are the most important lessons for our students to learn, and we support our staff completely as we continue to provide opportunities for our students to learn and grow. We also thank our administration for their support of us, as we try to do what’s best for kids every day at GMG” Mr. Mike Spurlin, Industrial Arts teacher, presented an informative and interesting report on the Industrial Curriculum. There are ten classes included in the program Spurlin teaches. He said great emphasis is placed on safety. Classroom instruction, videos and demonstration of safety and personal protective eye-wear (PPE ) are some of the means of keeping the students safe. In seventh grade the students all make a tool box and bird house/feeder. All work is done with hand tools. In eighth grade the students make hall trees and get to use power equipment. The ninth graders construct the pedestal tables. Currently the classes are constructing saw horses to enter in a big construction tech competition at MCC. Basic electricity includes chemical reactions. The students use copper, zinc and lemons to create energy. Spurlin noted, “ We got a calculator to run off of six lemons.” We are open to new ideas like the wind turbines.” In conclusion Mr. Spurlin said a big item of importance he stresses to the kids is “.....the importance of being on time and showing up for the job.” Elementary Principal Mel Hewitt gave an update on preschool enrollment for next year and said funds from Martha Ellen Tye will be used to bring the Old Creamery Theatre players to GMG for re-enactment of plays written by the GMG elementary students. Other assemblies coming are Dan Wardell from IPTV and Ronald McDonald. Mr. Hewitt briefly updated on tech implementation and the use of “tech Fridays”. Parent Teacher conferences will be held March 21 and 22. High School Principal Mark Polich informed that the Iowa Assessments have been completed and sent in. In-service time is focusing on bullying. Each advisory group is to write a definition of bullying. The idea is to be able to differentiate between actual bullying and a conflict. Boiler repair is slowly progressing. The buildings and Ground Maintenance group is meeting to set some goals. The Fire Marshall inspection has been completed and; we are waiting for some strobe lights. The Awards Banquet will include a potluck for the Fall and Winter, but not the spring. GMG is hosting the Conference Speech Festival on February 20 and plans are being finalized to host the other eleven schools and their Individual Speech coaches and contestants. Board Commendation was awarded to Large Group Ensemble Acting group with Mackenzie Burt, Abbie Duden, Jenny Borota and Caitlin Appelgate. They performed “Granny Rocks and She Can Charleston, Too”. The Board accepted with “... great appreciation of his many years at GMG”, the early retirement resignation of Mark Rodgers. He has been Special Education instructor at GMG for 29 years and has taught for 31 years. Eli Odle was hired as assistant high school baseball coach. The second readings of Board policies presented at the January meeting were reviewed for the second reading and approved. The 2013 Driver’s Education fees were set at $295 for residents and $395 for non-residents. This is a $10 raise for each. Upon the recommendation of the BCLUW Board the one year 90/10 transportation sharing agreement was approved commencing July 1, 2013. Previously it has been an 80/20 agreement. Handbooks for Boys and Girls High School and Junior High Track and for Golf were approved. Mr. Petty reviewed the preliminary calendar for 2013-14 with school beginning on August 19. The Department of Education Site visit was discussed. Next Board meeting will be March 11a t the GMG Elementary Library.


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