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July 19, 2019

6/21/2019 12:53:00 PM
Highland Board of Education limits use of ATV's on school grounds
At the regular Highland Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, June 12, the trustees discussed implementing an ATV use on school property policy. Members and administration agreed that all ATVs should be treated as cars and used as such - they will only potentially be allowed in certain areas if disabled or elderly. Additionally, they will not be allowed on the ADA-accessible pathway made out of compacted gravel that is going to be built to the football, baseball, and softball fields from the parking lot. The ADA pathway will not have public access for vehicles. ATVs will not be allowed on the grass. Board members and administration will be fine-tuning this and possibly creating a policy in the future. For now, a sign will be posted regarding ATV use on school grounds.
End-of-year purchases and budget year amendments were passed. As Highland Schools Administrator Nancy Hendrickson explained things should be in the good by the end of the year after all is said and done. The approval was for open purchases without exceeding the revenue while any extra money will be going into Fund 46 for long-term capital projects and maintenance - only spending money they have. Money from Fund 46 cannot be touched for five years after the initial establishment of the account. "If you don't spend it [money], you'll lose it as state aid the next year," Hendrickson said.
Three staff contracts were revised and sent out to those teachers after being approved from the board. The confusion came on the step scale that they received as they are working towards certain professional development goals. This year, there was a change in the practice and schedule sent out. "We encourage staff to get better at their craft by professional development with pay steps," Hendrickson stated. In this case, the three staff members are already working on the required professional development plan, but there wasn't a step for them to move into.
Shawn Reuter was approved as both the fitness coach (Bigger, Faster, Stronger) and fitness center coordinator. For the fitness center coordinator position, he will be taking over from Kari Smith. The other position, fitness coach, is a new job dedicated to the fitness program at Highland Schools. Board member Greg Biba was concerned that students have different workout programs that work for them that aren't BFS and wants Reuter to have an open mind about these other programs. Hendrickson reframed Biba's concerns by explaining that Bigger, Faster, Stronger is just one program. "What can we do that benefits all our kids? What makes sense for most of our kids? That's what we're trying to put into place." Furthermore, it is a program that can be run effectively and available and accessible to all. Other programs may come with a cost to them, and not everyone can afford to do that. "There are a lot of different programs out there that should all be used with fidelity and safety," Highland Schools Principal Josh Tarrell said. The cost of the new position is a bit over $3,000 and is treated as a head coaching position.
Highland Schools Nurse Sharon Friederick sent a report to the board and administration where she detailed the end-of-the-year health stats. In it she reported that all students from 5K-5th grade had their height and weight recorded in September and May, and 139 students had their hearing and vision checked by herself while the Iowa-Grant Lions Club did their vision screening on 124 elementary school students. A dental hygienist from the Seals-on-Wheels program came to the school and provided dental services to 119 students. There was a flu shot clinic held in October for staff and students; the required Shaken Baby course was given to sophomores and 7th grade students while CPR/AED were also taught in these grades. All WIAA paid coaches are certified in CPR/AED/First Aid as is required. Fifteen staff members volunteered to take part in Stop the Bleed Training.
In other business:
• Minor revisions were made to the employee handbook with $5 raises going to helpers at after school events such as ticketholders, game managers, etc.; support staff being allowed to use leave for snow days; and rewording the misconduct policy so that if better reflects the practice that is actually in place.
• The BOOST telepresence agreement between Riverdale, Kickapoo, Mineral Point, Pecatonica, and Highland was approved. The cost this year is $0 as monies from previous years is being used to pay for the service.
• WIAA membership for 2019-20 was approved. There are no dues as the WIAA Board of Control voted to suspend the dues/fees until 2017-18, but this became permanent as a result of membership action at the 2017 annual meeting. Highland participates in baseball, basketball, football, and wrestling (as a co-op with Iowa-Grant) for boys while offering basketball, softball, and volleyball for girls.
The next regularly scheduled Highland Board of Education meeting will be on Wednesday, June 10 at 6 p.m.

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