School Board Updated On Preparations For Upcoming Year
Final preparations for the upcoming school year were highlighted at the August 16 meeting of the Emmetsburg Community School Board. Along with routine updates, the board took action to approve a revised Instructional Support Levy it had approved earlier this year. The revision to language was requested by the Iowa Association of School Boards and will not result in any increase or change in taxes to district patrons.
After tabling a discussion on transportation needs for the district in the July board meeting, additional negotiations were conducted locally and with the guidance of the board’s Transportation Committee, the district purchased a 2017 Ford Expedition on July 31 from Emmetsburg Ford with the trade in of one of the district’s two Ford Transit vans. After receiving a quote from H&N Chevrolet in Spencer for a 2018 Chevrolet Suburban at $41,713, K-12 Director of Programs Joe Carter noted that the price was $5,000 less than what was quoted for a comparable Ford Expedition from Emmetsburg Ford.
“Is that with a trade-in of the two old Suburbans?” asked board member Scott Kibbie.
“We would only receive about $1,500 in trade in, and in talking with Jay(Sidles, Transportation Director), he would want to keep one of the older Suburbans,” Carter explained. “I know we like to stay local, but we did purchase one Expedition locally.”
On a motion from board member Dan Chism, the purchase of the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban, as well as the 2017 Ford Expedition, were approved on a unanimous vote, with board member Rick Bird absent and not voting.
Carter also informed the board that a smaller, 30-passenger bus had been brought to Emmetsburg for a demonstration and that there is a need for a smaller bus of this type in the transportation fleet. “We don’t have a hard price, but it is in the $50,000 range,” Carter said. “We’ will look into this further and come back with more information in the future.”
The board was briefed on the upcoming visit of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Department of Education Director Ryan Wise on Tuesday, Aug. 22, to learn about the district’s Teacher Leadership Compensation (TLC) program.
“The Governor will be here in the high school library at 2:30 on Tuesday and I would encourage you to join us for our presentation,” Superintendent Amanda Schmidt told the board. “We are very pleased to be able to host the Governor and Director Wise and share the successes of our TLC program.”
Carter also explained a new program that will be offered as an after-school camp this coming school year. Through a grant written by district faculty member Randy Olson, a STEM camp will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays form 3:30 to 5 p.m. at West Elementary four one month for eligible elementary students. The grant was funded through the state’s STEM Scale-Up Program, as Engineering in Elementary-STEM is aligned with both the Iowa Core and NGSS. The camp will be for one month and will meet Tuesdays and Thursday from 3:30-5:00 for eligible participants
In personnel matters, the board approved the resignation of Melissa Meyer as an elementary special education paraprofessional. A contract was approved for Chad Francis as an assistant Cross Country coach and full-time employment was approved for Pat Brennan as a member of the district’s custodial staff.
Activities Director Mike Dunlap presented the board with the coming year’s athletic budget, noting that increases were built into the budget for the cost of athletic contest officials salaries, which are changing somewhat with the district’s transition into the Twin Lakes Athletic Conference this year.
“Do our gate receipts come close to covering this budget?” asked board member Pete Hamilton.
“They come pretty close,” answered Joe Carter. “Along with donations from the Booster Club, and receipts from the concession stands this summer, of which we received 20 percent, we are pretty close.”
“How are concessions at the other schools operated?” asked Scott Kibbie.
“They are all over the place,” Schmidt replied. “There’s really no common thread as far as concessions.”
Carter noted that various organizations operate the concession stands for sports in Emmetsburg, such as the baseball and softball parents in the summer, Band Boosters for Football and Student Council for volleyball, among others.
The board also approved deposits of up to $6 million each for Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, Laurens State Bank and Wells Fargo as the district’s official financial depositories for the coming year on a roll call vote with board members Tammy Naig, Dan Chism, Jane Hoyman, Pete Hamilton, Scott Kibbie and Ed Meyer all voting aye and board member Rick Bird absent and not voting.
Superintendent Schmidt also reviewed fundraising activities and events in the district with the board. During the last school year, a total of nine outside fundraisers, or door-to-door events were conducted, and 49 in-school fundraisers, such as dances, online stores, concession stands and the like were conducted. For the coming school year, there will be 34 in-school fundraisers and eight outside fundraising events, such as football cards and vocal card sales. With a motion by Hamilton and second from Hoyman, the fundraisers were approved for the coming year.
And in a final item of business, the board heard a presentation by seniors Jillian Joyce, Emily Fuller and Rachel Duhn regarding Open Campus privileges for seniors in the coming year. With a motion by Kibbe and second from Chism, Open Campus was approved for seniors, pending eligibility requirements are met and parental and administrative is given.