|12/16/2019 8:37:00 AM|
With recent events, Iowa-Grant School
District is to further educate students on emergency situations
By Carley Rider
On December 9th, the Iowa-Grant school board met for their regular monthly meeting. Key topics of discussion included emergency situations, board elections, the Summer Recreation Program, the Iowa-Grant and Highland Cooperative Wrestling Agreement, and the language used for the agenda's public input along with board member communications.
Superintendent, Stephanie Hubbard discussed in the district report that in lieu of recent events across the state, the district will be further educating students on how to handle emergency situations. Although the school already practices drills for emergency situations, they felt it justified to further explain these drills and provide other information on what to do in these situations.
Board elections will be taking place for Area 3 and Area 7. Currently, Rachel Zimmer serves on the board representing area 3 and Kris Spurley represents area 7. Information on the upcoming election has been mailed in the newsletter to community members.
Stephanie Anderson, director of the Summer Rec Program, met with Stephanie Hubbard, district superintendent, and Stephanie Dirks, district Information Systems Manager, to create a survey in regards to changes in the Summer Rec Program. The survey included questions about raising fees, local businesses sponsoring t-shirts for teams, and also offered a section for suggestions and improvements that would like to be seen in the program. The survey received 102 responses from parents affected by the Summer Rec Program. The board supported an increase in fees to fund new equipment for teams. Increase in fees included: a $10 increase to tee ball and coach pitch, raising the fee from $15 to $25; a $15 increase to little league, raising the fee from $25 to $40. There will be a family cap of $100 along with hardship language.
The board discussed the Iowa-Grant and Highland 2020-2021, 2021-2022 Cooperative Wrestling Agreement. In the agreement, they found that certain points of the agreement were misleading due to wording. The agreement currently states that a head coach must be interviewed and decided collectively by both school boards, and athletic directors. The board believed that this made the agreement sound as if returning a returning head coach must be interviewed each year. The board also discussed how all coaching staff should be decided the same way, ranging from head coach to volunteer coaches. The board believes that both school districts should be involved in decisions regarding coaches provided by either school. They also discussed a part of the agreement missing language of the head coach being a part of deciding assistant and volunteer coaches.
Discussion and decision on public input was made. The board discussed the recommended language for public input of "The board welcomes the opportunity to hear from the public with comments about items of interest or concerns that do or do not appear on the agenda this evening. We ask that you remember that the Wisconsin law prohibits us from discussing specific employees or their job performance. Employee concerns should be referred through administrative channels in writing. Board members may ask questions regarding the information raised during public input however no decisions will be made unless it pertains to items on the posted agenda. Public input period comprises 30 minutes or less unless the board president grants additional time. It would be appreciated if you would limit your comments to 3 minutes so that we can keep the meeting moving in a timely fashion and allow others an opportunity to speak. Please begin by stating your name and address. Thank you for your support of our school." If the board warrants items not on the agenda to be discussed, the item would be placed on a future agenda. The school district's legal council was consulted in this agenda item and was decided that it meets all legal requirements. The board approved this new language for the agenda's public input.
There was discussion on board member communications. Stephanie Hubbard consulted with the district's legal council about a "once around" portion of meetings for school board members to share and comment on happenings around the school district. The district's lawyer did not believe this to be a good idea because they should be agenda items. In an attempt to still allow the sharing of comments from board members the board discussed the idea of putting comments about the district from the board into the newsletter rather than discussing at the meetings. Doing so would allow more individuals to receive the information without potential legal consequence.
A recurring donation from the Friendly Place and ExxonMobil was made to the school for $500. The donation is to be used for math and science, alternating each year. This year the science department is the recipient and has plans to put the money towards new microscopes.
Concern was raised by district bookkeeper, Cathy Kohlenberg in regards to snow and emergency days for certain support staff to use sick hours for time lost due to inclement weather days/early releases/late starts. The concern is in how this would be implemented in a way that payroll can be done in a timely manner, without having to contact each support staff employee on their intent of using sick leave hours or not. Kohlenberg provided ways to maintain efficiency in reporting intent of use of sick days. The board discussed support staff employees entering this information into AESOP or to contact the school themselves and make them aware of their intent if they do not have access to AESOP that specific day.
The board accepted two resignations. There was a resignation of night custodian, Mark Grotz and a resignation of middle school wrestling coach, Isaac Campbell.
Jodi Bast and Chris Gotto gave a presentation explaining the school district's report cards, how scores are determined, how the district ranked statewide, and compared the most recent report card to previous years.
The board reviewed and approved a significant amount of board policies.
Principal reports were given by Jodi Bast and Chris Gotto. Bast informed the board of elementary holiday program next week, the success of the 1st grade christmas store, and the toy drive on December 10th. Gotto informed the board of the addition of silver cords for graduation. The silver cords would be presented to students whom have meet community service requirements. The high school plans to record these community service hours on Xello, a web-based program that students can use to keep track of achievements, volunteer hours, and assignments and projects completed that students feel benefit them and their future in the workforce or college. Gotto also announced to the board that they changed the winter sports photographer to DaCR Photography for the winter season. Gotto also reported on field trips to Milwaukee for zoology and student council. The high school band and choir concert had a flipped layout in order to allow more seating and for the concert to be broadcast virtually on NFHSnetwork.com for free.
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