November 17, 2023 at 1:55 p.m.

Referendum discussion takes place with I-G Board

A recent community supper headed by Iowa-Grant District Administrator Michael Shimshak generated discussion about a possible referendum, facility needs and the possibility of co-oping educational programs with Highland.

Monday night the board took the discussion further and focused on future financial needs

“This year we have a balanced budget,” Shimshak told the board.  “With the state funding, we have no idea of what we will receive with the state’s budget next year.”

Declining enrollment is another factor that makes the budget process difficult.  For that reason looking at a referendum is a very real option.

Shimshak went over various options for referendums with the board.  He said the need is for $1.2 million and it could be asked for all at once or it could be spread out over  three years on a recurring basis.

One savings with a referendum would be $30,000 in interest payments that would not be needed as short term borrowing would not have to be done.

Also discussed was staffing for the future with the hope that if reduction is needed it will be taken care of through attrition or reassignment within the district.

The board indicated they may be  looking into a community survey and discussed the one Highland just did with School Perceptions, a company out of Slinger, WI that specializes in surveys and the results.

Study will be continuing.


The board accepted with gratitude donations from:

-I-G PTC for food service share carts in the amount of $206.98

-Community First Bank $212 for Panther Packs

-Pipestone, $1000 for Panther Packs.


The board approved 22 student requests for Early College Credit or Start College Now.

The board granted requests from the wrestling program and cheerleaders for overnight field trips for competition.

Approval was given to three fundraisers.  The FFA fall fruit sale was approved as were the groups’ strawberry fruit sale and greenhouse sale.

Shimshak presented the board with a job description for the school nurse which was reviewed and approved.

Shimshak also said the Library Plan which is asked for by the DPI is ready for approval.  He said the district is “ahead of the curve” as they have had a plan prior to the DPI asking for one.  A spreadsheet was shared with the board concerning age of books, popular offerings, present goals and longterm goals.  The board approved the plan.

Middle School football was discussed concerning moving it from a club sport to a school offering.  The addition to the athletic offerings could range form $10,000 to $20,000 in cost which could come from Fund 80.

Concerns included who the teams would play, who would coach and how would the need for a trainer affect the budget as a trainer would need to cover all middle school sports.  At this time trainers are hard to find.

It was noted a benefit could be a continuity with the middle school teams following the varsity program’s system which could pay off longterm.

The board tabled the middle school football discussion.

Two resignations were accepted.  One was a special education assistant and the other was Marla Simon who is leaving the track program.