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April 24, 2019

3/28/2019 11:04:00 AM
Highland Board of Education approves summer school program and staffing
At their regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, March 13, the Highland Board of Education passed the summer school program and staffing. The cost of running the program is $28,193.56, but for the program put on, the school gets to add 10 or 11 students for their count which translates to over $39,000 in the revenue cap. "If we stopped doing summer school, the money would go away," explained Highland School District Superintendent Nancy Hendrickson. It also amounts to roughly $80,000 in state aid for the school.
Teachers slated to work during summer school are Alyson Berg, Lisa Bowen, Becky Cody, Andrea Doyle, Ginger Halverson, Sarah Hennessy, Ashley Matthias, Peg McCarthy, Lynn Michek, Miranda Brunson-Parker, Jean Pierick, Abbie Ramel, Kirsten Rusch, Nicole Sander, Kari Smith, Melissa Straka, and Jessica Weber. Additionally, Hennessy, Michek, and Smith will be helping with the fitness center. Classes this year will focus on STEM skills and will run Monday-Friday from June 3-7. Grades K-2 will meet from 8 a.m. to noon while grades 3-5 will run noon-4 p.m.
A motion was approved to do an HVAC feasibility study for the school building not to exceed $12,000. The system is having several problems that need to be addressed, but before this can be done, administration doesn't want to sink additional money into the system unless they know it is part of the next step and to put a plan in place. Furthermore, the feasibility study could get complicated, which is why it might be costly. The board thought there were two options down the road for the future of the HVAC/boiler: absorb the cost into the annual budget or go to referendum. It will take two weeks for the proposal then an extra six weeks for the contractor to really get to know the ins and outs of the building. "It's something that needs to be done sooner rather than later," Hendrickson said.
In their reports to the board, administration noted that changes have been made in favor of Highland for the WIAA football-only realignment. A previous version of the plan had Highland in the Ridge & Valley Conference for one year only to go back to the Six Rivers Conference. The new plan has Highland staying in the Ridge & Valley Conference. Other schools in the Ridge & Valley include Boscobel, Wauzeka/Seneca, Hillsboro, Riverdale, De Soto, and Ithaca.
In other business:
• Revised boys basketball coaching contracts were approved as there was a resignation by the head coach in the middle of the season. Middle school coach Shaun Reuter then took over those duties, and someone else, Ashley Matthias, came in and coached middle school.
• More coaches will be needed for softball and baseball this season as Principal Josh Tarrell explained there are many students out for these sports, and the freshman class is larger than usual. Coaches will be needed to cover both games and practices. "The numbers will warrant having an extra coach if we can find someone," Tarrell stated. Carissa Menke was then approved as a part-time softball coach while the school is still looking for a baseball one.
• Spanish Club fundraisers: Pizza Hut benefit buffed and sign night were passed.
The next regularly scheduled Highland Board of Education meeting will be on Wednesday, April 10 at 6 p.m.

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