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April 24, 2019

4/12/2019 11:58:00 AM
Iowa-Grant School Board approves part of proposal for next year's staffing changes
The dominoes are beginning to fall for the Iowa-Grant School District as part of a proposal for staffing changes for next year was unanimously approved by the school board Monday. The approved part includes section sizes for Iowa-Grant Elementary/Middle School including: three sections of 4K-third grade each, four sections of fourth grade, and three sections of fifth-eighth grade each. Administration had wanted to pilot having one 4K section go to half-days on Monday-Thursday mornings with no bussing option for pickup after 4K is over that morning; however, board members did not agree with this plan as they felt it was a bit exclusionary and wondered why only one section was being switched to this. The plan was for the 4K teacher that does the half-day schedule to also be an interventionist. In the end, the plan was approved for no half-day schedule and two 4K sections to meet on Monday/Wednesday and the other one to meet on Tuesday/Thursday. Also approved was posting of open positions for next year due to staff retirements including an agriculture teacher job and a PE/health/athletic director position.
The other parts of the plan that the board wants more discussion on included all the moving parts revolving around these numbers and staffing. There would be full-time interventionists for 1-2 grade, 3-4 grade, 5-7 grade, and 8-10 grade along with the part-time interventionist mentioned previously to work with 4K and kindergarten. One of the current principals has volunteered to be a technology/media interventionist as that's a field she is passionate about - which means that she would no longer be a principal. With that change, a teacher would become part-time Dean of Students dealing with students' behavioral issues. There is also a request for a physical education assistant as administration thinks it's important to focus on this and offer physical education to students four times a week. The administration also hopes to contract more services with CESA 3 for speech therapy.
With all the changes and moving that administration recommended, there is a zero balance change - no jobs lost, and no jobs gained. However, Board Member Anderson wants the administration to look into the specifics of hiring another full-time principal at IGEMS as it seems that is a needed position. After all was said and done by administration and board members, the board thought it important to have more conversations revolving around the potential changes as some brought up were not discussed previously. The board hopes to have a closed session soon in order to go into more detail as specific names of personnel are not discussed during open sessions.
Five staff members gave the board their letters of intent to retire including Dennis Biba, custodian for 35 years; Eric Johannesen, teacher for 32 years; MaryAnn Lenzendorf, 35 years with the district; Patrick Nechvatal, custodian for 32 years; and Lois Peart, teacher for 36 years.
Changes to the previously approved 2019-20 school calendar were accepted. Thanksgiving falls earlier than expected, so the calendar was changed to accommodate this.
The board approved retroactive use of sick time for support staff time lost due to severe weather. The additional language in the handbook will read "Effective with the 2018-19 school year, the clerical assistants (9 month only), cooks and teaching assistants will also be permitted to use sick leave for full days, early dismissals, and late starts, when the clerical assistants, cook, or teaching assistant is not required to report to work due to inclement weather."
The board tabled a decision regarding IGHS serving as a host school in 2019-20 school year for a Costa Rican exchange program as Jacqueline Rolli, who is the program director and Spanish/foreign language teacher at Iowa-Grant School District, was unable to attend the meeting. The board had some questions about the program that need to be addressed.
Applications for the ECCP and Start College Now program as recommended by Jackie Benish were approved. Students wishing to take college classes must take courses that are not similar to any Iowa-Grant offerings and must make their high school courses a priority. Students should not expect to be enrolled in all college classes they sign up for as high schoolers are the last to register for them.
As part of the Department of Justice Safety Grant, seven Iowa-Grant educators or 10 percent of the staff are required to take safety training offered by the Department of Justice (DOJ;) however, none of the trainings are offered in southwest Wisconsin. Because of this, Administrator Stephanie Hubbard reached out to DOJ staff asking if any of the trainings will be in the local area with the DOJ then saying no, but would you like to host one. Hubbard agreed, and Iowa-Grant will be holding a DOJ-approved safety training on June 6-7 with all monies for the training being provided by the DOJ.
In other business:
• Contracts from Melissa Martinez, MS Assistant Track Coach, and Art Pronschinske, HS Assistant Golf Coach, were received and accepted.
• After meeting in closed session, the board approved hiring Zachary Raimer as the Varsity Football Coach. Raimer has served as an assistant coach and is currently a sixth grade teacher at IGEMS.
• Donations totaling around $330 from spectators at the recent forensics showcase were accepted with gratitude. The money will be going into the forensics budget for next year.
• The contract for CESA services was received and approved for the next school year.
• The monthly bills were paid as well as accepting the monthly finance report.
• The negotiations and personnel committee will be meeting Wednesday, April 17 at 6 p.m.
• The next regularly scheduled Iowa-Grant School Board meeting will be on Monday, April 22 for reorganization of the board.
• Board Member Chris Richards was recognized for his six years of service on the school board.

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