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Ruthven-Ayrshire School Board Hears Year-End Report

By Staff | Jul 14, 2011

RUTHVEN Members of the Ruthven-Ayrshire Board of Education wrapped up the 2010-2011 school year by reviewing the school district’s year-end report. The board also addressed several other issues related to the start of the 2011-2012 academic year during the July 11 meeting.

“It was a year of transition,” said Superintendent Norene Bunt. “Despite enrollment increasing by 14 students in 2010-2011, the Ruthven-Ayrshire School District was faced with the need to reduce expenditures by nearly $200,000 for 2011-2012. The Iowa Core Curriculum, Microsoft grant reporting, ICAT, and mapping curriculum added to teachers’ full plates. We had a lot of transition with staff and hired eight new teachers and five new support staff for the 2011-2012 year.”

Bunt addressed student achievement, noting that Ruthven-Ayrshire students showed significant growth in reading and math achievement on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills/Iowa Test of Educational Development in 2010-2011.

“All of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals for the district were met,” Bunt noted. “The district continued to have a 100-percent graduation rate and a 95-percent or above attendance rate. These are accomplishments to be proud of.”

The district also reestablished the middle school concept for grades 5-8 last year and was also the recipient of a Microsoft Grant for $46,000. The grant funds were used to purchase and install SMARTBoards (and provide training), LCD projectors, and iPads; replace 28 laptops computers for the junior high and 25 teacher laptops; install new access point in the building; and purchase new computers for the CADD program.

Several projects were completed with PPEL (Physical Plant & Equipment Levy) and SILO (School Infrastructure Local Option sales tax) money, as well, including lowering ceilings with new acoustical tile, replacing light fixtures and lamps with energy-saving bulbs, covering stairs and landings with textured, rubber flooring, remodeling the kitchen, repairing the industrial tech building roof, and painting classrooms.

“Much was accomplished during the 2010-2011 school year,” concluded Bunt. “Actions were taken that will reduce expenditures and rebuild the district’s unspent balance and solvency ratio. New initiatives were started that will positively impact student achievement. Experienced, professional staff continues to serve or have been newly hired to serve our students and school district. Facilities improvements, including technology, were made to make our school facilities more up-to-date, safe, and attractive.

In other business, the board reviewed bids and approved contracts with Wonderbread for bread, Anderson-Erickson for milk, Palo Alto County Engineer for diesel, and Murph’s for gas. The board also reviewed and approved changes to the student handbook for the new school year. The staff handbook will be approved pending finalization of master contracts.

The August meeting of the school board has been rescheduled from Aug. 8 to Aug. 15. The board is planning to hold an open house in August for the public to view the updated school facilities.